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There is, I believe, no Ecclesiastical history in the 
English language, — of a period common to the East 
and West, — which takes the Oriental view of the matter 
in question. 

If it were only on this account, the present volume, 
relating the last attempt at an union between the two 
great Churches, would possess a certain value. 

But, it is further to be observed, that several Russian 
manuscripts and printed works throw a Ught on the 
Council of Florence which is not afforded by any of its 
Western historians. 

It was with great pleasure, therefore, that I acceded 
to the request of my friend, the Rev. Eugene Popoff, 
Chaplain to the Russian Embassy in London, to edit 
the following translation, the work of his son. Although 
the translator's manuscript needed very little correction, 
there was here and there a phrase which presented a 
foreign idiom ; and some of the proper names were given 
after the Russ and not after the English fashion of 
orthography. Beyond this, I have not felt at liberty to 
make any alteration. 

I would only observe that, with respect to what after 
all was the chief point debated at Florence, the Filioque 


controversy, so far as regards the adoption of the ne 
clause into the Creed, a most undoubted Anglican au- 
thority speaks thus : " Though the addition of words 
to the formal Creed, without the consent and against 
the protestation of the Oriental Church be not justi- 
fiable ;" and again : " Thus did the Oriental Church 
accuse the Occidental for adding Filioque to the Creed, 
contrary to the General Council, which had prohibited 
all additions, and that without the least pretence of an- 
other Council : and so the schism between the Latin 
and the Greek Church began and was continued, never 
to be ended until those words, xaS Ik tw Tlou, or Filioque, 
are taken out of the Creed.^'^ 

With respect to another Article debated at Florence, 
the Papal supremacy, the Anglican reader will perceive 
how entirely the Oriental arguments arp those which 
we employ at the present day ; while with regard to 
Azymes, it is rather by accident than from principle 
that we agree to the Eastern view. 

The present volume was originally the work of a 
student in the Spiritual Academy at Moscow, but has 
received correction from, and I believe I may say the 
imprimatur of, the Theological Professor in the same 
Academy. If it assists in making the Eastern Church 
and the great learning of its scholars better known to 
ourselves, I shall be most thankful for the very small 
share I have taken in the publication of the present 

S. Matthias, Stoke Newington, 

Saturday of the Second Week in Advent j 
Dec, 14, 1861. 

1 Bishop Pearson, Vol. I. p. 492 ; VoL II. p. 407. 





View op the state of the Eabtebv Empibe and the Chttbgh 

OP Some pbeceding the FLOBENTunB Cottncil . . 8 

Negotiations between the Empebobs Mantjeii and John 


Basle, BEGABDiNe thb union op the Chubches . 14 

Depabtube op the Gbeees POB the Council and theib 



Opening op the Council in Eebbaba. Pbiyate disputes 

ON Pubgatoby 40 


The solemn Sessions op the Council. Disputes on the 

Latin addition to the Cbeed 60 




Pbooession of the Holy G-host fbom the Son . . 85 


Kemoval op the Cottnchi to Floeenoe. Disputes on the 




Disputes on otheb Latin Dootbines. Death op the Patbi- 



Retubn op the G^beees hohe. Rejection op the Elobbn- 

TiNE Union by the Obthodox Eastebn Chubch . 164 








It was at an early period that the spirit of supremacy 
began to show itself in the Pontiffs of Rome. As soon 
as their unceasing and strenuous efforts to spread their 
spiritual monarchy over the whole of the West were 
crowned with success^ they, not content with this, 
sought also the submission to their pontifical throne of 
their own equals — ^the Eastern Patriarchs, and thus oc- 
casioned that great division of the West and East, 
which, commencing under Photius, ended in the final 
schism of the Church of Rome from the only Orthodox 
Church of the East. It was not love of power alone 
that caused this division ; but also an obstinacy in ad- 
hering to many material regressions from the ancient 
doctrine and discipline of the Church (Ecumenical. 
Time, instead of abating this love of power and eradi- 
cating errors, only conduced to their development and 



strength. Thus it was, that the division of the Churches 
became more and more permanent, while the Eastern 
Christians, true to their ancient Orthodoxy, were 
strengthened in their aversion to the Latin Church. 

The calamitous state of the Eastern Empire, bereft of 
its strength, at one and the same time open to the ra- 
vages of barbarous and rude nations from the north 
and east, while it suffered no less from the encroach- 
ments of its own brethren of the West, more than once 
engendered a wish in its rulers to restore the former 
spirit of love and peace between the Churches, hoping 
by these means to find effectual aid in the head of 
Western Christianity against enemies threatening the 
Empire with ruin and desolation. The Popes were no- 
thing loth to receive such demonstrations from the East, 
always keeping their own object in view, that of attain- 
ing supremacy and dominion over the four Eastern 
Patriarchates. Nevertheless, it was very evident, that 
as long as the Popes retained such an object in view, 
and refused to return to the pure ancient doctrine and 
practice of the Church, no such efforts of reconciliation 
would prove successful. 

The fruit of these efforts during the existence of the 
Eastern Empire, was a Council, which, convened at 
Ferrara, was afterwards removed to Florence, and there 
came to a close. Twenty years of preparation for this 
Council, the presence of the Eastern Emperor, the 
Patriarch of Constantinople with other Patriarchal 
Vicars ('E^/Tpowoi) and Bishops, on one side, and that of 
the Pope, with his numerous suite of Cardinals and 
Bishops on the other; then, again, the long duration of 
the conferences on the principal causes of the division ; 

•r • • 

* • • 

• • •• 

> • • • • 

• • • • 


lastly, the very minuteness with which the points in 
dispute were brought under the notice of the Synod — 
aU this together enhances the special value of a history 
of the Council. Whereas, again, its close, so contrary 
to the hopes and expectations nourished at its opening 
by those who came from the far east, contrary to the 
evident superiority of the last named in truth and jus- 
tice, gives rise to a very laudable curiosity as to how 
affairs were really carried on in this assembly. A son 
of the Orthodox Graeco-Russian Church has besides 
this a more special inducement to acquaint himself with 
the history of this Council, not only because it included 
among its members a Russian Metropolitan, who took 
no little interest in the acts, though himself no great 
defender of the ancient Orthodoxy of his Church; but 
also because the decrees of Florence served as a foun- 
dation for the so-called '' Unia" organised in the south- 
eastern provinces of our country, thanks to the Jesuits 
of the sixteenth century. An impartial history will 
show how unjustly the canons of the Council of Florence 
were, and even are, counted as the production of Greeks, 
ever the true sons of their Orthodox Church. 

The contemporary description of this Council by 
Syropulus, known by the name of a '' Truthful History 
of an unjust union,^' is the first and principal source for 
the History of this Council.^ Sylvester Syropulus, a 

' This title is given to Syropulus' work by the editor. The beginning 
of the History is lost, and thus its real title is unknown. When divid- 
ing his History, Syropulus calls his work *AirofAyrifioyf^fiara, Edit. 
Hagffi Comit. 1660, in folio. The Greek text has a Latin, though not a 
very correct version by Creighton. 



Greek by birth, was the son of a Chureh-teacher,^ by 
whom he was educated, and soon formed an intimate 
acquaintance with many pious and learned men of his 
time. Ordained deacon of the Constantinopolitan 
Church, with the title of Ecclesiarch and Dikeophylax, 
he accompanied the Patriarch to the Council of Flo- 
rence, was present at it in the capacity of a member, 
and thus saw and heard all things transacted there, 
even taking part in many of the minor meetings of the 
Bishops; lastly, he was more than once sent by the 
other members of the Council to the Pope. His stead- 
fastness in the Orthodox doctrine and aversion from the 
imion drew on him the Emperor^s anger, and was the 
cause of much indignation on the part of the Latins 
and the Greek apostates from Orthodoxy. At the ur- 
gent demands of the Emperor^s officers, he signed the 
CounciPs decrees ; but shortly afterwards sincerely re- 
pented of what he had done ; and, withdrawing himself 
from the union and his Church office, wrote his history 
of the Synod.2 

The history of Syropulus closes with the events of 
the years 1444 and 1445 ; we can, with great likelihood, 
suppose that it was written just about this time ; and, 
consequently, during the lifetime of the Emperor, John 
Palseologus, and many other members of the Council. 
This circumstance attests the truth of his history. He 
himself affirms in many places, that there is nothing 
but truth in his history,^ that he even wished to omit 

1 Syrop. ix. 14. By the name of Church Teachers the Greeks under- 
stood those members of the Clergy whose principal occupation was 
preaching in the Church. 

^ This is seen from his own words. ^ Syr. xi. 4. 


many things^ but could not do so^ as the witnesses of 
these events were still alive.i Without going into the 
details of the public disputes, written down during the 
very sittings of the Council, he relates the private con- 
ferences of the Greek Bishops, generally using the^ir 
own expressions.^ When describing the preliminary in- 
tercourse of the Emperor and Patriarch with the Popes, 
he makes use of the ''ypa/Ajxara^' entered into the 
Church codex ;3 he also finds place in his history for 
some of the genuine acts of the Council, e.g., the 
opinions of the Patriarch and the Emperor on the 
Procession of the Holy Ghost; also for the objec- 
tions of the Latins against the exposition of the same 
doctrine made by the Greek Bishops.* With rare ho- 
nesty he refuses witnessing to subjects more or less 
unknown to him, but narrates what he himself had 
heard.^ Speaking of the principal authors of the union, 
he is far from concealing their good qualities, remark- 
ing that it is unjust to pass them over in silence ;^ nei- 
ther is he silent upon many injudicious acts of the 
defenders of Orthodoxy ;7 he then relates, with great 
frankness and sincerity, how he was obliged to sign his 
name to the Council decree, and tries to exculpate him- 
self, by saying, that it was not done for money.^ Lastly, 
we must say that the memoirs of Syropulus correspond 
in the principal points with other Greek and Latin nar- 
ratives of the Council. All these circumstances attest 

1 Syr. iii. 1. 2 Syr. v. 5. s Syr. ii. 8. 

* Syr. ix. 9, 10. Compare Synod. Flor. pp. 610, 611. See also Syr. 
Yiii. 14, 17, 19. 

* Syr. yiii, 12, and in many other parts of his work. 

* Syr. vi. 23, 24. 7 Syr. ix. 6. 8 Syr. x. 8. 


the sincerity of the writer and the truth of his his- 

We have ah^ady mentioned, that Syropulus does not 
give place in his history to any of the public disputes at 
the Council ; but to make up for this he endeavours to 
disclose the object held in view by the Emperor, the 
Pope and their party, and the motives from which they 
acted at the Council. His description of the private, 
secret intercourse between the Latins and Oreeks afbei^ 
the public sittings of the Council, brings to light many 
of their dark doings, which, were it not for Syroj^Ius, 
would have remained until now unknown to us. Gene- 
raUy speaking, were it not for his memoirs, the descrip- 
tion of this Council by other authors would hardly have 
proved satisfactory. 

Out of all the annals of this Council, published by 
the Church of Rome, the best is very rightly reckoned 
to be, — the History of the Council of Florence, written 
in Greek by one of its members, Dorotheus, Metropo- 
litan of Mitylene.^ It principally consists in an expo- 
sition of the Council disputes, very likely composed 
with the help of notes, made at the very Council, and to 
which the historian now and then refers. On finishing 
the Acts of the Council, the author commences his 
own diary of the chief occupations of the Greek Bishops 
until the close of the Synod. The diary is short, be- 
cause the writer, who was one of the most active parti- 

1 This history is published under the title of S. Gener. Florentina 
Sjnodus, in 4to., two books. The author's name is not mentioned. 
jUlatius refers it to Theodoras Xanthopulus. But Bertram, in his 
Abhandlung vom Dorotheo yon Mitylena einem ungenanten Gteschioht- 
schreiber, Halle, 1759, in 4to., has prored its author to be Dorotheus 
of Mit^lene. 

THE '^ history" of bobotheus. 7 

zans of the Church union^ only finds place for such 
subjects as seemed most important for his object in 
view^ and looks upon them besides in his own light. 
In the course of our history of the Florentine Council, 
we can, under the guidance of Syropulus, also avail 
ourselves of the memoirs of Dorotheus, endeavouring 
as far as possible to clear the truth from falsehood, and 
to amplify one narrative by the other. 

The Russian annals and memoirs, on the voyage of 
the Metropolitan Isidore to the Council, may also be of 
use in showing several circumstances, touching the 
Russian Metropolitan, of which there is no mention 
made in Syropulus, or in the Latin descriptions of the 

A complete history of the Council of Florence must 
not only show the progress of the Council and its re- 
sults ; but also give an introductory sketch of the con- 
temporary state of the Eastern Empire and the Church 
of Rome. By doing this it will serve to explain the 
reason of the strenuous efforts made by the Emperor 
and Pope to convene a Council and accomplish the union 
of Churches. 

^ "GPhe narratiye about the Eighth Council" is published in the 
Sophian Yremennik (Times)— Stroeff*s edition, P. ii., p. 18: also in 
Nicon's Chronicle, P. v. See abo " Voyage of Isidore to the Council 
of Florence," printed in YoL vi. of the Ancient Russian Library, 2nd 
Edit. pp. 27 — ^70. " Voyage of Simeon of Suzdal to Italy," in Sacha- 
roff^B edition of the " Foreign Travels of Bussians." St. Petersburg, 
1837. P. it, pp. 87—112. 




Ktiable was the state of the Empire of Constan- 
tinople, when Manuel II. (1891) began those nego- 
tiations with the Pope, which resulted in the Council 
of Florence. At that time everything was in the hands 
of the Turks. Manuel himself, during the very lifetime 
of his father, was forced by Bajazet II. to join him in 
his expeditions. ManuePs father, by the Sultan's order, 
was compelled to raze to the ground the city forti- 
fications then only in course of erection. Then came 
the demands from Bajazet, that a mosque should be 
erected, and a cadi appointed in the town for the 
Turks, demands coupled with threats of shutting up 
the inhabitants within the city walls, in case of a re- 
fusal. True to his threat, Bajazet commenced ravaging 
towns and villages in the suburbs of Constantinople, 
forcing the poor inhabitants to migrate into other 
places ; at the same time his armies devastated the Pe- 
loponnesus and demolished towns on the coast of the 
Euxine. The armies of Islam stationed close to the 
town cut off the import of com; hunger drove the 
inhabitants to despair. Such was the beginning of 
ManueFs reign ! Six years afterwards, Manuel at the 
demand of Bajazet was obliged to divide his nearly 
powerless authority between himself and his nephew 
Andronicus, who proclaimed himself the Sultan's tri- 
butary — and personally to seek the aid of the monarchs 


of Western Europe. During his absence Constanti- 
nople nearly fell a prey to the ambitious views of Ba- 
jazet. Luckily for the town the Sultan met with a 
dreadful rival in the person of Timour. His victories 
over the Sultan sustained for a time the Empire^s ex- 
istence and made Manuel once more master of his own 
throne. Mahomet I.^ son and successor of Bajazet^ 
kept the peace with the Greek Emperor. 

But what remained now to the Emperor from out of 
his at one time vast possessions? In Asia he was no 
longer master of a single province, of a solitary town. 
True, Mahomet did restore the ruins on the coast of the 
Black Sea, the Propontis and in Thessaly, but then 
these ruins alone, with Constantinople^ were all that re- 
mained to him of the once great Empire. Even of this 
he was master only at the Sultanas grace. Such a state 
of affairs, could not continue long. In. the reign of 
ManueFs successor, John VI. Palaeologus, the limits of 
the Empire were still less ; the Emperor paid the Sultan 
Murad II. 100,000 aspres. In reality it was the latter 
who was unlimited master of the Empire, having the 
power even of levying troops from among the Greeks, 
The Turks pillaged towns, devastated whole provinces, 
and expelled the inhabitants. The Emperor could only 
witness the calamities of his subjects, but help them he 
could not. His army for the most part consisted of 
mercenaries, his fleet was insignificant, the finances of 
the Empire were in the greatest disorder, so that at last 
John was brought to the necessitjt of selling Thessalo- 
nica to the Venetians, in order to pay the expenses of 
his court. 

The Empire was evidently on the brink of ruin, and 



well aware of this were the poor owners of Constanti* 
nople. They knew besides^ that as long as the town 
remained in Greek hands^ they might still find some 
help on the part of the Western Monarchs^ and hope 
for some snccess over the Turks. But it was just as 
evident to them, that as long as the division of the 
Churches continued, the Western Christians would 
sooner stand by, and allow the Turks to annihilate all 
the East, than offer a helping hand in its defence. This 
then was the reason why Mannel, in hopes of saving his 
Empire, determined on entering into negotiations with 
the Pope, which were carried on by John with the view 
of attaining an nnion of Chnrches by means of an 
(Ecumenical Council. They were in hopes, that such 
a Council could, on the authority of Holy Scripture and 
Holy Tradition, solve all the points of dissension be- 
tween the Churches ; the East and West would make 
peace with each other on the subject of faith, and that 
then all Christian nations, the cause of their religious 
enmity being done away with, would give their hands and 
hearts to the defence of the faithful agamst the infidels. 
. It was no secret, that the hope of receiving help for 
the Empire by means of a Council, was the real motive 
both the Emperors had in proposing this union to the 
Pope. Even the Turks guessed the designs of the Em- 
perors and dreaded the alliance.^ The Emperor, John 
Palseologus, himself more than once told Us spiritual 
and civil nobles, at Constantinople, then at Ferrara, and 
Florence, that this was the very object of the assembling 
of the Council. 

1 See the last advice given by Manuel to his son, in the Hist. iii. 13. 
Sdit. Bonn) p. ITS. 


We will now turn our attention to the contemporary 
state of ecclesiastical affairs in the West. It will then 
be plain^ why the Pope evinced so sincere a readiness to 
take on himself the assembling of the Council^ for the 
union of Churches. 

Since the removal of the Papal seat to Avignon (1808), 
the Western Church was disturbed by many violent 
commotions, which led to the so-called '' great schism.'' 
(1378—1428.) During half a century the Church of 
the West was divided between two Popes, of whom one 
remained in Italy, and the other resided in France. The 
Popes and anti-Popes by levelling anathemas at each othei^ 
caused great disturbances among the clergy and laity : 
the people and their rulers were quite at a loss, whom 
to receive as the lawful rulers of the Church; the party 
of one Pope persecuted the party of the other, and both 
used the most unlawfiil means for augmenting their in- 
comes. It was during these universal commotions, that 
the monarchs and the clergy of the West became per- 
suaded in the necessity of a reform in this Church, be- 
ginning with her head and ending in her members, fully 
conscious at the same time, that this reform must be 
made by means of an (Ecumenical Council, and not by 
the Popes themselves. Thus, the Western Church by 
a series of calamities returned to the old persuasion, 
however opposed it might have been to that of the Popes, 
that the only visible, universal authority, must be, with- 
out exception, that of the (Ecumenical Councils. So 
that at the beginning of the fifteenth century Councils 
were convened in the West, which claiming to themselves 
the title of (Ecumenical also claimed the right of judg- 
ing the Popes, and with unequal success set about re- 



forming the many abuses caused in the Church by Papal 
avarice and ambition. 

The refusal (contrary to their own promise, and the 
requests of the Emperors and Bishops) of Gregory XII. 
chosen Pope by the Italian Cardinals, and of Pope 
Benedict XII. then at Avignon, to surrender their 
claims to the Papal chair, was followed by the Council of 
Pisa, which being convened against them, transferred 
the Papal tiara to Alexander V., branding them with the 
name of schismatics, heretics, and perjurers. But thi& 
election, far from quieting the disturbances in the 
Church, only served to augment her calamities by the 
addition of a new Pope. On the death of Alexander, 
John XXIII. continued anathematizing his rivals — Gre- 
gory and Benedict. At last the Council of Constance 
wishing (1414) to put an end to all disturbances, so- 
lemnly proclaimed that 'Hhis (Ecumenical Council has re- 
ceived immediate authority from our Lord Jesus Christ; 
and every member of the Church, not excepting the 
Pope, must obey the Council in all matters pertaining to 
faith, the putting down of schism and ecclesiastical re- 
form. If, contrary to this canon, the Pope or any one 
else refuses to receive this, or any other (Ecumenical 
Council, he shall be sentenced to penance, and when ne- 
cessary be even visited with legal punishment.^^ This 
decree was enforced on John XXIII. ; he was sentenced 
to be deprived of the Papal chair. He was succeeded 
by Otho Colonna, who took the name of Martin V. (Nov. 
11, 1417) . The Council next betook itself to the reform 
of the Church, though in reality it limited itself to a 
very few changes, as the Pope would not allow any 
serious alterations to be made, managing to postpone 


the settiing of the general demands from one Council to 
another. Thus in the lifetime of the same Pope Martin^ 
the Council of Constance was successively followed by 
that of Pavia, (1428), Sienna, (1424), with no better 
success, and lastly, by that of Basle (1431), which was 
so much dreaded by Martinis successor, Eugenius IV. 

It was at this very period of time, when the Papal 
authority had received so severe a check from the schism, 
when the former conviction of the infallibility and ab- 
solute power of the Pope had lost its force and made way 
for the opinion, that the authority of (Ecumenical Coun- 
cils was greater than that of the Pope ; then it was, that 
the Popes, fearful of entirely losing their power over the 
Church, and unable to contend with the prevalent spirit 
of reform, joyftdly acceded to the Emperor^s proposal of 
the union of Churches, the more readily as this union 
seemed very likely to be of service in sustaining their 
now tottering power. They might well expect to be- 
come the Supreme rulers of the whole Christian world, 
and then to be able to destroy with ease all the reform- 
ers of the West, as soon as the union of Churches should 
be attained at an QBcumenical Council. 

Thus the Council, at which it was purposed to bring 
about the union of Churches, offered great advantages 
both to the Emperor and the Pope. 




The negotiations between Constantinople and Rome 
concerning the union of Churches began in the lifetime 
of the Emperor, Manuel Palseologus.^ Pope Martin 
v., influenced by the Greek legate Eiidsemon, had 
most graciously accepted the Emperor's proposal, and 
sent letters to him and the patriarch Joseph, elected 
patriarch from Metropolitan of Ephesus (1416). The 
Constantinopolitans found tokens of the Pope^s dis- 
position to peace in the fact that he styled the Pa- 
triarch brother; that he gave his consent to the mar- 
riage of two princesses of the Roman faith, with 
John and Theodore the Emperor's sons; and lastly, 
that he sent indulgences for those about to defenci 
the newly erected fortifications in Morea. The Emperor 
and the Patriarch returned thanks to the Pope for his 
interest in the proposed union of Churches, noticing at 
the same time, that in their opinion an (Ecumenical 
Council oflfered the only means of restoring peace to the 
Church. This Council, said they, free from external 
influence, and avoiding unnecessary disputes, could well 
investigate the causes of disagreement between the 

> These negotiations date as early as the year 1415. Manuel sent his 
legate to Italy from Morea where he was superintending the erection of 
a fortification (4|a/i/\iov, a wall of six miles length). Synod. Flor. torn, 
i. p. 551. Eudsemon was present at the election of Martin to the 
Papal chair. Syr. iL 5. 


Cimrches^ and as soon a9 its decision^ founded on the 
doctrine taught by the ancient Fathers of the Churchy 
should be sincerely and unanimously received^ then 
could the union takeplace.^ To this the Emperor sub- 
joined a petition for aid against the Turks. Martin 
published a buU^ inviting all European monarchs to join 
in the extirpation of the Turks^ at the same time or- 
dering his Bishops to preach a crusade against them^ 
(July 10> 1420) ; appointed the Cardinal of S. Angelo his 
legate in Constantinople^ with instructions to treat about 
the peace^ and then in order to meet the expenses of the 
proposed Council demanded pecuniary aid from the 
Archbishops of Cologne^ Mayence, and Treves.^ 

On receiving from Constantinople the sudden news^ 
that the Turks had made several movements hindering 
the convocation of a Coundl^ the Pope delayed his pro- 
jected plans^ and sent his nuncio^ Antonio Massana^ to 
make some preliminary arrangements as to the place 
and time of the Council^ and the conditions under which 
the union might take place. The Emperor received the 
nuncio very graciously (Sept. 16^ 14&2), and had al- 
ready named the day for treating on the conditions^ 
when of a sudden he was taken to his bed^ struck by 
a fit of apoplexy^ and was thus obliged to entrust all 
Stftfte affairs to his son John. 

^ After much delay^ Antonio managed at length to 
lay the Papal demands first before the Emperor, and 
then before the Patriarch, in the presence of the other 
Bishops. The nuncio declared, that the Pope heartily 

* Syrop. iL 8. 

3 Fleuiy, Hist. Eccles. ci. 51. The Pope required 6000 florins from 
each Archbishop, di. 7. 


wished for the union^ demanding only that the Emperor 
should^ according to his promise^ receive the doctrine of 
the Church of Bome^ and obey it; that the Pope is 
agreeable to a convocation of a Council^ but wishes to 
know when and where it will be convened.^ In answer 
to this unexpected demand^ a letter was sent from Con- 
stantinople^ stating^ that the Emperor gave no unconr 
ditional consent to the union^ but only promised to 
convene a Council like unto the seven (Ecumenical 
Councils^ and assent to all the decisions of the Fathers^ 
made by them imder the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. 
The Emperor fixed upon Constantinople for the Coimcil^ 
but could not determine the time of its session^ as the 
town was then threatened by the Turks. In the end of 
his letter^ the Emperor on his part demanded that the 
Pope should oblige all the Christian monarchs of Europe 
to declare war against the unbelievers.^ 

The Pope laid the Emperor's answer before the 
Council convened first at Pavia, and then removed to 
Sienna^ for settling the affairs of the Western Church. 
But as this same Council was soon after broken up by 
Martin^ who feared its decision might prove unfavour- 
able to him^ the project of union remained without 
any results at aU.^ 

In the meantime^ John^ who looked upon the union 
as the only means for bettering the condition of his 

^ Syr. ii. 10, 11; Heury, cii. 6, 7j Dupin, Nouv. Biblioth. des 
Auteurs EccL 

* Fleuiy, cii. 8 ; Dupin, tom. xii. p. 28, 29 ; Syr. ii. 10. The answer 
was sent Nov. 14, 1442. From the 10th of July till the 6th of Sep- 
tember Constantinople was besieged by Murad. Peace with him was 
concluded February, 1424. Fhranza, i. 39, 40. 

3 Fleury, ciL 12, 13 ; Dupin, tom. xii. p. 29. 


empire^ made his way to Sigismund^ Emperor of Oer- 
maiiy^ and tried his utmost to incline him to a war 
against the Turks. Sigismund^ who was then himself 
warring with the Hussites^ simply advised John to 
bring on the union as soon as possible.^ 

Acting upon this advice^ and true to the promise 
given to the Pope, through the nimcio, John, on his 
return from Hungary, renewed his negotiations with 
Rome concerning the Council ; but this time the legates 
found their former proposition of assembling the Council 
at Constantinople strenuously opposed by the Pope. 
The Cardinals, with strange assurance, told them, that 
''the Church of Rome is the mother, the Eastern 
Church the daughter; it is not usual for the mother to 
go to the daughter, but the daughter to go to the 
mother ;'' and then demanded the convocation of the 
Council in Italy. To keep his part of the compact, the 
Pope promised to send ships and an army to defend the 
town of Constantinople, and pay the Greeks 100,000 
florins to cover the expenses of their journey to the 
Council, and living during its session.^ The Greek 
legates refused to accede to such a proposal without the 
Elnperor's consent. To give more force to his demand, 

' Syr. ii. 12. Just in this part of Syropulus's history there are 
several pages missing. Nevertheless, lower down, Syropulus mentions 
the results of the Emperor's interview with Sigismund (ii. 34, and iii. 
18) : — "If you complete the union of the Churches," said Sigismund, 
^then jou will conduce to the reform of the Latin Church. The 
Christians of the East have more order than we have, for our people 
have in many things diverged from the old order of matters." John's 
voyage took up the time hetween the 15th of November, 1423, and Oc- 
tober, 1424. 

3 Syr. ii. 12, 13. 


the Pope sent back with them his own legate Andrew^ 
Archbishop of Golossus,^ who, bom a Greek, had after- 
wards joined the Church of Borne. At first the Em- 
peror apparently consented to go to Italy; but after 
asking the Patriarchs advice, he retracted his words, 
and dismissed the Papal legate without any answer, at 
the same time sending his general, Tagaris, and Maca- 
rius, the Protosyncellus, with a note to the Pope, the 
contents of which, Syropulus writes, as well as the 
Pope's answer to it, are unknown to us.^ 

Day by day the relations of the empire to the Sultan 
were becoming more and more embarrassing. In 
April, 1430, he took Thessalonica by force of arms ; in 
October Joannina was also his conquest. Harassed on 
all sides, the Emperor was brought to the necessity of 
acceding to the Papal demands. He forthwith sent an 
embassy to Rome, inth his consent to Martin's pro-* 

The Patriarch, though in public he agreed to the Em- 
peror's wish, and obediently to his will asked the Pope's 
consent and aid to the union of Churches, nevertheless, 
in private, when in company with the more intimate of 
his Clergy, told them that he would on no account go 
to the Council in Italy. *' To be paid by the Pope,'^ 
said he, - means, to recognise his authority over myself. 
And how shaU a hireUng slave refuse obedience to his 
master? Think, also, what state shall we be in, if, once 
in a strange land, we meet with a refusal to pay GUI' 
expenses, and give us the means of returning home ! 

K [I.e., of Bhodes.] 

3 Syr. ii. 14, 15. They returned from the Pope in August, 1490/ 
Fhranza, ii. 9. 


And why not convoke a Council here in Constantinople ? 
Those who come here from, the West will be in no need 
of ou^ help. If even 100,000 aspres were required, 
they might easily be collected from the Bishops. The 
Russian Metropolitan alone will bring as much to the 
Emperor, who can well spare 20,000 out of it ; as much 
can be obtained from the Archbishops of Georgia and 
Servia; the Eastern Patriarchs can give 2,000, or at 
least 1,000 florins; our rich folk will readily give 1,000 
each, some 600, others 300 and 100 aspres.'' So 
thought the Patriarch; but the Emperor had other 

The legates came to Rome only in time to be present 
at Martin's death-bed, (Feb. 20, 1431.) He was suc- 
ceeded by Eugenius IV., (March 3, 1431.) In his letter 
to the Emperor and Patriarch, the new Pope agreed to 
assemble a Council in Italy, but evinced no great 
enei^ in its cause. The Greeks were very much 
offended with several of his expressions, and rather 
troubled with some demands not mentioned to them by 
Martin.^ Eugenius was also put into a very perplexing 
position, as the sums collected by Martin for the as- 
sembling of the Council had been embezzled by his re- 
lations, so that Eugenius was obliged to enter into open 
war with them.^ 

But very soon the Council of Basle made the Pope 
more attentive to the scheme of the union of Churches, 
and induced him to lay aside his pride and arrogance 
while in intercourse with the Emperors of the East. 

Eugenius, soon after the opening of the Council of 

» ^. ii. 19, 20. 2 Fleury, di. 33, 84. 


Basle^ (July 23, 1431,) noticed that the Council in'- 
tended to act in the same spirit of independence from 
the Pope, as its predecessor the Council of Constance. 
This determined him to close the Council, (Dec. 18, 
1431,) and fix upon another one at Bologna, to be held 
in a year and a half's time, under plea that the Greeks 
had promised to come to Italy for the union. But the 
Council of Basle, backed by the Emperor Sigismund's 
authority and the interest of all the German princes, 
and France, gave the Pope a very decisive answer, 
stating, that the Council does not intend changing its 
place of convocation, or finishing its business in hand^ 
but rather means to set itself to the extirpation of he- 
resies, the amelioration of morals, and restoration of 
peace ; and hopes at the same time that Pope Eugenius 
will favour the Council opened under his own auspices 
and those of his predecessor. At the same time, the 
Council confirmed the Constance decree respecting the 
submission of every person, the Pope included, to the 
authority of the Council ; demanded the Pope^s appear- 
ance at it ; threatening, in case of his refusal, to judge 
him according to the laws of the Church. The Pope, 
at one time fearing decisive steps on the part of the 
Council, at another oppressed by his discontented sub- 
jects, who compelled him to fly from Rome, was obliged 
to accede to the demands of the Fathers of Basle (Dec. 
15, 1433), and sent his plenipotentiaries to sit at the 

During these disputes the Council had, of its own 
accord, opened negotiations with the Greek Emperor; 
for Andrew, Archbishop of Colossus, sent by the Pope 
to negotiate with the Council, had persuaded its mem- 


bers that the Greeks sincerely desired the union of 


Having sent Anthony, a Bishop, and Albertus, a Doc- 
tor, to Constantinople, the Council invited the Greeks to 
join, bringing forward, as an inducement to them, the 
superiority of the Council^s authority to that of the 
Pope, and its better ableness to bring about the union ; 
showing also that many kings, and even the Emperor 
Sigismund, sided with it, and that therefore there were 
more hopes of aid for the Greeks from the Council than 
from the Pope, whose glory was fast ebbing away.^ 

The Emperor John, notwithstanding he had already 
begun negotiating with Eugenius, assented to the advan- 
tageous proposals of the Council and sent his ambas- 
sadors to Basle with letters from himself and the Pa- 
triarch, authorising them to agree to anything decided 
upon by the Council, with their consent, and conducive 
to the peace of the Churches. Among these ambas- 
sadors was Isidore, hegumen of the monastery of S. 
Demetrius, and afterwards Metropolitan of Russia.^ 

1 Mentioning his former negotiations with the Greeks in Pope Mai*- 
tin's time, Andrew remarks : " Nee audita vobis, Patres, pronuncio, sed 
qiUD vidi et quae prsecepta ejusdem prsesulis (P. Martini) ipse contrec- 
tavi et publica stipulatione concluseram." Of John Palseologus' last 
mission to Eugenius he says : " Legati Grsecorum Pontificem adierunt et 
coram Bomanorum Bege, domino Sigismundo, pro unionis negotio Im- 
pCTator et Patriarcha Constantinopolitanus voluntatem et vota triginta 
sex articulis patefeoerant. Scio quod verum loquor et quod hse manus 
litteras obsignatas explicuerint et quss illic continebantur, ex Grsecis 
Latina feceram." This speech was made by Andrew at the Council, 
August 22, 1432. Bmii ConcU. t. yiii. p. 234. 

3 Syr. ii. 21. 

' The letters of the Patriarch and the Emperor (dated Oct. 15, 1433) 
are; found in the Acts of the Council of Basle, Binii Concil. t. viii. pp. 57 


Eugenius^ on learning of the Emperor's embassy to the 
Council, contrary to his former plan, informed the Em- 
peror of his readiness to convene a Council in Constan- 
tinople. One can explain such a change in Eugenius^s 
tactics by supposing that he could not part with his idea 
of breaking up the Council, notwithstanding he was then 
at peace with it. The present circumstances seemed 
very opportune for his plans.^ Unaware what success his 
negotiations with the Council of Basle would meet with, 
the Emperor consented to the Pope's proposal, inform- 
ing^ the Council of such a step on his part. 

In the meantime the Emperor's ambassadors at Basle, 
after a long deliberation with the Council deputies, en- 
tered into a treaty with them, (Sept. 17, 1434.) They 
declared, that (1) if the Council for the union of 
Churches is to be convoked at Constantinople, all the 
expenses connected with it will be paid by the Emperor; 
in the contrary case, the Western Church must aid the 
Greeks. (2.) The Council may be convoked, besides 
Constantinople, in Calabria, in Milan, or Ancona, or in 
any other seaport town; in Bologna, or some other 
Italian town ; out of Italy, in Vienna, Buda, or in Savoy. 
(3.) The ambassadors promised that the Emperor, Pa- 
triarch, and other necessary persons would come to the 
Council. On hearing these conditions, the Council 
agreed to take upon itself the expenses necessary for 

and 297. The Ghreek great stratopedarcb, Demetrius Falseologus, and 
John Dis-hypatus, were also in the mission, together with Isidore. 

^ Syr. ii. 22. Binii Concil. t. viii. p. 300. The Pope also wrote to 
the King of Trebizond, as is evident &om the King's answer to the 
Pope (Oct. 18, 1434) ; also to Boleslaus, the Gfrand Duke of Liyonia. 
A separate letter was written by the Pope to Gregory, Metropolitan of 
Moldoylachia. Le Quien. Or. Christ, t. i. p. 1252. 


the maintenance and journey from Constantinople and 
back of the Emperor and Bishops ; promised to send a 
fleet and army to defend Constantinople in the absence 
of the Emperor; showed readiness to convene the 
Council in any of the above-mentioned places except 
Constantinople itself; and lastly^ promised the Pope^s 
consent to all these conditions.^ To have this treaty 
ratified by the Emperor, three members of the Clergy 
were sent to Constantinople — John of Bagusa^ Henry 
Manger, and Simon Freyron, who brought the Greeks 
8,000 florins to prepare with for the journey.^ 

Christopher, the Papal legate, arrived at the same 
time as the ambassadors of Basle ; for the Council, on 
coming to know of the agreement made between the 
Pope and the Emperor, had represented to the Pope 
how contrary to the honour of the Emperor, Pope, 
and Council it was to break treaties solemnly made; 
how great a danger threatened Constantinople, sur- 
rounded as it was by the Turks. Eugenius, though in 
his epistle to the Council of Basle (Feb. 22, 1435) 
he insisted on the opening of the Council in Constan- 
tinople,^ had sent oflf his own plenipotentiary with the 
legates from Basle, who was ordered to confirm all the 
decisions made by the Council ; but in reality secret in- 
structions were given him by the Pope, to hinder the 
Council as much as possible, to disconcert its relations 
to the Greeks, and principally to work upon the aged 
Patriarch, who of all was the most inclined for the as- 
sembling of the Council in Constantinople. 

* Binii t. viii. p. 55, et seq. 2 gyj, {{, 23, 24. 

* Weissenberg. Die grossen Kirchenyersammlungeu xy. und xvi. 
Jahrh. 2 Band» S. 363, 364. 


On coming to the Emperor^s presence^ the ambas- 
sadors of Basle endeavoured to persuade him to con- 
vene the Council in Basle instead of any of the other 
places mentioned.! The Emperor inclined to their pro- 
posal. But before giving his fuU consent, he formed a 
committee of clergy and laymen to look over the treaty, 
or rather the decree of the Council of Basle.^ 

In the very beginning of the decree, amongst many 
other strange expressions, there was one as follows: 
''The Fathers are assembled at the (Ecumenical Council 
(of Basle) to extirpate the newly risen heresy of the 
Bohemians (Hussites) and the ancient heresy of the 
Greeks.^^3 Great was the astonishment of the Orthodox 
on reading these words, insulting to all the Church, and 
instantly it was demanded, that these words should either 
be omitted or corrected. The ambassadors pleaded as 
an excuse, that the words so offensive to the Greeks 
were owing to the fault of the writer of the decree, 
and even tried to put all the blame on the Greeks them- 
selves, as they had heard the decree read at the Council, 
and might then have demanded the correction of ex- 
pressions unpleasant to them. At last it was decided 
to make a new preface to the decree, and send it over 
to Basle to receive the Council seal. The other parts 

^ See speeches of the Basle legates in the Acts of the Council. Binii 
t. viii. p. 220—222, and Syr. ii. 23. 

2 Syr. ii. 25—27. 

3 This is written in the decree thus ; " Hujus S. Synodi ab initio suse 
congregationis prsecipua cura fuit, recens illud Bohemorum antiquum- 
que Q-rsecoruni dissidium prorsus extinguere." Very likely disHdium 
in the G-reek translation of the decree was rendered aXpfffis. At all 
events, the comparison of the G-reeks with the Hussites, in point of 
heresy, was justly a matter of offence to all the Orthodox. 


of the treaty were received without a word. As to the 
place for the Council^ that was to be fixed upon as soon 
as the Greeks should be ready to start. ^ 

The ratification of all these things by the Pope^s 
legate was the next thing demanded. After many vain 
efforts to avoid a decisive answer, the legate told the 
Greeks, that he had the Pope's authority to ratify, and 
did ratify all arrangements made until that time, and 
as a proof of his words showed the Council the Pa- 
pal decree, which indeed authorized him to act as he 

Thus the decree was copied and sent to Basle with 
the letters from the Emperor, his brother Constantine, 
and the Patriarch (Nov. 1435), containing besides the 
former conditions, a new demand of the Pope's personal 
appearance at the Council, as the Head of the Latin 
Church and the West.^ 

The following year the revised decree was sent from 
Basle with the Council seal.^ The Emperor began to 
assemble the Bishops. Legates with letters and pre- 
sents were sent into different provinces of the Eastern 
Church. The holy Fathers began to assemble in Con- 
stantinople. Georgia sent two Bishops and a royal 
minister ; Trebizond sent a Metropolitaii and a legate ; 
the Metropolitan of Moldovlachia also arrived with his 
suite. Isidore, a short time before this ordained Me- 

* Syr. ii. 28, 30, 32, 35. Syropulus' words are attested by the extant 
acts of the Council : 1. Articuli Imperatoris Constantinopolitani ; 2. 
Articnli responsorii Ambassadorum Concilii ; 8. Promissiones factse per 
Ambassadores S. Concilii. Binius, Concil. t. viii. p. 219, 223. 

2 Letters joined to the Acts. Binii t. viii. p. 301, 302. 

3 This decree is found in the Acts of the Council of Basle, twenty- 
fourth session. Bin. Cone. t. yiii. p. 68. 



tropolitan of Russia^ was ordered on his departure for 
Moscow to arrange affairs^ so as for Russia also to take 
part in the union of Churches, and to bring Russian 
legates and Bishops back with him to Constantinople. 
An embassy was also sent to the despot of Servia, bui 
neither letter, nor legate was ever received from himi 
The envoys sent to the Patriarchs of Alexandria, An- 
tioch, and Jerusalem, brought back letters from them, in 
which the Patriarchs, though refusing to appear per- 
sonally at the Council, at the same time named their 
representatives.^ The Alexandrian Patriarch chose An- 
tony Metropolitan of Heraclea, and Marcus Eugenicus, 
then as yet a plain monk ; the Patriarch of Antioch 
chose Joasaph of Ephesus, and the Emperor's confessor^ 
Gregory ; the Patriarch of Jerusalem named Dionysius 
of Sardis, and the Russian Metropolitan Isidore. All 
these appointments were made under the direction of 
the envoy, conformably with the Emperor's wish^ and 
even without any preliminary consent of the Patriarch 
of Constantinople. 

In the given to the Patriarchal vicars {M" 
TpQTttn) the Patriarchs authorized them to give their con-i 
sent only to such things as were conformable with the 
rules of the Councils and the writings of the fathers. 
Such conditions were anything but agreeable to John 
the envoy from Basle, and the Emperor; they were 
found to be too mean for the patriarchal vicars, as 
limiting too much their liberty of action. The Em- 
peror demanded, that the Patriarchs should send out 
new ypaftftara, writing them in a form already sent to 

^ Syr. iii. 2. Before leaving for the Council, Mark, Bessanon, and 
DionysiuB, were raised to the rank of Metropolitans. 


them. The demand was complied with^ and besides 
this^ the Patriarchs changed some of the appoint- 

Haying dismissed the envoys to the Eastern Fathers^ 
the Emperor informed the Pope of his readiness to start 
for the Council with the Patriarch and clergy. Another 
envoy was despatched to the Fathers of Basle with a 
demand^ that the promised galleys should be sent to 
Constantinople by the autumn. 

In the mean time the Emperor assembled a council 
of the most illustrious nobles out of the clergy and 
laity, well known for their learning, and bade them 
enter into some preliminary discussions about the ap- 
proaching dispute with the Latins. Cantacuzene, one 
of the highest nobles in the empire, and a strict up- 
holder of Orthodoxy, said, that the first subject for 
the Council ought to be the addition to the symbol of 
faith, as one of the principal points in dispute between 
the Churches. Georgius Scholarius, the most learned 
man of his time, gave his advice, remarking, that, in 
order to reccmcile the Churches, the Council must care- 
fully investigate the disputed doctrine, and confirm it 
with the clear and incontrovertible words of the Church 
Teachers. Should the Emperor seek the union from 
political views, then there is no need of troubling many 
persons ; two or three envoys alone could very well end 
the affair. The Emperor himself was far from wishing 
the Greeks to give way to the Latins without any dispute. 
For this reason it was determined to look over the works 
of the former defenders of Orthodoxy, written during 
their disputes with the Latins, and especially the works 

* Syr. iii. 3, 4. 

c 2 


of Nilus Cavasilas.^ It was also intended to send to 
Mount Athos for some of the old books, but these 
were never received.^ Lastly, came the discussion as 
to the persons fit to be sent to the Council, among 
whom was one Nilus Tarchaniotes ; but the Emperor 
fearing that Nilus, being a monk, would be too firm in 
his opinions, and thus spoil the whole affair, would not 
agree to send him.^ 

In the meantime great disturbances were going on at 
Basle between the members of the Council, who could 
not agree as to where the Synod should be assembled, 
and found the proposed sum insufficient for paying the 
Greeks the expenses of their voyage and stay. A final 
rupture between them and the Pope was the result. The 
greater part of the Council resolved to hold a Council 
at Basle, and in case of the Greeks disagreeing to this, 
— at Avignon or some city in Savoy ; to cover expenses, 
— indulgences were liberally promised to those who 
would materially aid the holy cause of the union, and a 
tithe was to be collected from the Western Clergy. 
Nevertheless the ambassador who arrived from Con- 
stantinople with the news of the Greeks' readiness to 
start for the Council (Feb. 7, 1437) opposed the plan of 
assembling the Council either at Basle or at Avignon, 


^ Nilus Cayasilas, Metropolitan of Thessalonica, lived in the first half 
of the fourteenth century. He left many works written against the 
Latin Church, namely : 1. On the Causes of Dissension in the Church : 

2. On the Papal Supremacy (both these works are published in Q-reek) : 

3. Several books containing a refutation of the Latin doctrine on the 
Holy Ghost. The first two works, and some of the last, are met with 
in Slavonian manuscripts of ancient translation. 

2 Only two monks arrived from Mount Athos as deputies to the 

3 Syr. iii. 5— 7. 


as these towns were not named in the Emperor's treaty 
with the Council ; he would not even agree to any town 
in Savoy for the Council, though that was named in the 
treaty, under the plea, that the Greeks applied this 
name not to the province itself, but to the towns be- 
longing to the Duke of Savoy in Italy. The Pope also, 
ever aiming at the dissolution of the Council of Basle, 
sent his Legate there announcing his disapproval both 
of the places named for the Council session, and of the 
means for collecting money for the Greeks. On the 7th 
of May, 1437, ballot was resorted to, in order to put an 
end to all dissension, two-thirds of the members voting 
for the former towns, and the rest for Florence or Udino. 
Both parties wrote down their votes, which were read in 
the Cathedral, and the Council seal was then affixed to 
the decision carried by the majority of votes. It was 
then that the weaker party had recourse to a very un- 
creditable action: in the night the Council seal was 
carried off and affixed to their own decision. The Pope, 
availing himself of all these disturbances, ratified the 
decision of the weaker party, favourable to his own 
views (29th June), though afterwards he changed his 
mind and fixed upon Ferrara for the Council. Mean- 
while the discontented members leaving Basle sided 
with the Pope. Among them was Julian Caesarini, 
who, in after time, played a prominent part in the acts 
of the Ferraro-Florentine Council.^ 

In order to anticipate the arrangements of the Coun- 
cil of Basle, the Pope sent off some galleys with a legate 
to Constantinople, and three Bishops inviting the Em- 
peror and Greek Bishops to a Council in Italy. The 
Emperor's arrival in Italy was an event of great impor- 

^ Dupin, xii. pp. 37, 38. 


tance to the Pope. As the Council of Basle had pro- 
mised that the Pope should^ as a matter of course, take 
part in the union of Churches^ and Eugenius himself 
would have nothing to do with the Council, it became 
very evident that the Council would soon pass its judg- 
ment against him, and elect another Pope. 

The legate declared that the Pope had made peace 
with the fathers of the Council; that the Council was 
dissolved, and another was to be convened in Italy .^ 
At the same time, a learned Greek, George of Trebi- 
zond, who then lived in the West and was a son of the 
Latin Church, wrote to the Emperor, and assured him 
that during the distorted condition of the Western 
Church — during the contests between the Pope and the 
Council — the appearance of the Emperor in Italy on the 
Pope^s side would pf itself alone terminate all disputes.^ 

The Emperor had already given orders for all ap- 
pointed to attend the Council — ^to get ready for the 
voyage. But twenty days had scarcely elapsed since 
the arrival of the Papal ships, when suddenly the galleys 
promised by the Council of Basle entered the Bosphorus. 
The rivals would have engaged each other in a naval 
fight, if the Emperor had not restrained them. The 
Papal legates and those of Basle spared neither efforts 
nor money to press the Greeks to their separate views. 
But soon the real state of Western affairs became evi- 
dent to the Greeks, and made them still more puzzled 
which party to join. The legates of Basle declared that 

1 Syr. iii. 8, 9. The legate arriTed with the galleys in the end of 
September, 1437. 

3 This letter is affixed to the History of George Fhranza. Ingolstadt, 
1604 ; pp. 325—331. 


peace had been^ and was at the time impossible between 
the Council and the Pope. One of them^ a long resi- 
dent in Constantinople^ advised the Patriarchy as a 
friend^ not to go either to Basle or to Italy. Many of 
the Bishops inclined the Emperor to the same step. 
Even Sigismund sent a courier to Constantinople^ per- 
suading the Emperor to delay the union of Churches 
for a time, untU the internal dissensions in the Western 
Church came to an end. Lastly, Sultan Murad coun- 
selled the Emperor to rely more on the stability of an 
alliance with him than with the Latins. But, notwith- 
standing all these counsels and advices, the Emperor, 
rejecting the proposals of the Council of Basle, deter- 
mined to sail for Italy in the galleys of Bome.^ 



m Feebaba. 

As soon as the voyage to Italy was decided upon, the 
Patriarch chose the Bishops who were to accompany 
him to the Council. They were twenty-two in number, 
including those sent from Trebizond, Georgia, and Mol- 
davia, viz. : — Mark, Metropolitan of Ephesus ; Doro- 
theus of Trebizond ; Antony of Heraclea; Metrophanes 
of Cyzicus; Bessarion of Nicsea; Macarius of Nicome- 
dia; Dionysius of Sardis; and the Metropolitans of 
Teruovo, Monemvasia, Lacedsemon, Amasia, Mitylene, 
Stauropolis, Moldovlachia, Rhodes, Melenicus, Drama, 

1 Syr. iu. 11—14. 


Joannina^ Silistria^ Anchialus^ and Georgia^ with one 
Bishop.^ At the same time the Patriarchal ypififji^uTa 
were given to the Vicars, in whose election some changes 
were made. The Metropolitan of Heraclea was ap- 
pointed Vicar of the Patriarchate of Alexandria ; the 
Emperor's Chaplain, Gregory, with the Russian Metro- 
politan, of the Patriarchate of Antioch ; the Metro- 
politan of Ephesus and Sardis of the Patriarchate of 

First in learning, firmness of character, and ortho- 
doxy among the Greek Bishops, was Mark, Metropolitan 
of Ephesus. A native of Constantinople, he, in his 
youth, received an education suitable to his age, and 
especially gave himself up to theological studies and the 
practice of eloquence. He was Principal of the Con- 
stantinopolitan school,^ and acquired so great a reputa- 
tion for his sermons, that many persons from other 
provinces often asked him to write a sermon for such 
and such a festival.* Belonging to the K\Y}po$ of the 
great Constantinopolitan Church, he chose to seclude 
himself from the world and entered the Monastery of 
Mangana. Here, in a lonely cell^ invisible even to his 
relations, he made the study of the Holy Scriptures and 
the Works of the Fathers the exclusive and favourite 
study of his mind and heart.^ This was how Mark 

1 Syr. iii. 15. 2 Syr. iii. 20. 

3 Gregor. protosjncel. Apologia in Morci confessionem ap. Allat. de 
Cons. Eccl. p. 934. 

* Ejusdem responsio ad epist. Marci in Synod. Flor. t. 11, p. 455. 

^ The information respecting the life of Mark of Ephesus is found in 
the work of Manuel the Ehetorician (1590) under the name oiAdyos ircpl 
MApKov Tov M7iTpoiro\irov *E^€(rov Kcd ttjs iv ^Xxop^vrlt^ (rvv6hov. MS. of 
the Moscow Synod. Library in Matthias's catalogue, No. 393, p. 112. 


came to acquire a thorough knowledge of the principles 
of the Orthodox Faith. His clear^ disciplined mind 
quickly saw the errors of the enemies of Orthodoxy^ and 
found a ready apology for the truth ; his deep religious 
feeling sustained him in the contest^ and he would 
sooner die than turn traitor to the truth. 

Bessarion, like Mark^ was also one of the most learned 
men of his time. Well versed in theological science, he 
at the same time evinced such facilities of speech, that 
even the Greeks avowed his superiority in this respect 
over their favourite, Mark.^ Besides these qualities, 
he had acquired renown among his contemporariesr 
for being a subtle philosopher and warm defender of 
Plato. He was the favourite of the Emperor John 
Palaeologus, who sought his advice on nearly everything, 
when about to depart for the Council.^ But failings he 
had also : that firmness of character, that pure and in- 
corruptible love of the truth, that soundness in the 
development of ideas, — traits so characteristic in Mark, 
— were not to be found in Bessarion. His egotism was 
likely to make him very soon break his friendship with 
one who was evidently becoming his rival.^ This is 
why Bessarion could never be a trusty coadjutor of 
Mark, in a cause to join which he was called upon by 
the Emperor. 

' Syr. T. 5. The Emperor, on reading the two answers to the Latins, 
written one by Mark and the other by Bessarion, gave the former pre- 
ference for the strength of his arguments, and found more oratorical art 
in the latter. Syr. t. 14. 

^ See testimony of Amirutius, who, with other learned Qreeks, was 
present at the Council, contained in his letter to Prince Demetrius. 
Allat. de cons. Eodies. p. 884. 

» Syr. V. 16. 



Joseph, the Fatiiarch of Constantinople^ whose high 
rank made him an influential person in the Council^ 
proved by his administration that he was hardly equal 
to his office in the Church and the circumstances 
of the time. Old, weak, and undecided, he allowed 
himself to be influenced by the laity in nearly every 
step he took, and, as a matter of course, could not suc- 
cessfully defend the Orthodox party of the Council 
against the attacks of a strong opposition. At times, it 
is true, he showed a sincere desire of guarding Orstho- 
doxy from her enemies ; but sound faculties and firm- 
ness of character were wanting in him, to enable him 
to enter into an open contest with these enemies. 
While nourishing hopes of success and glory among his 
posterity, he had always a ready answer in case of un- 
success : " If even,^^ he used to say, " the Latins force 
us to something, we will always keep to the sound doc- 
trine of the Fathers. Let them threaten us with tor- 
tures ; we will sooner sufier any pain than turn traitors 
to anything received by us from the (Ecumenical Coun- 
cils and the holy teachers of the Church : we will either 
be martyrs in deed, or martyrs in will.^^^ But time 
proved Joseph false to his own words. 

Six spiritual lords of the great Constantinopolitan 
Church were to accompany the Patriarch to the Council, 
in the capacity of his councillors. Among them was 
the great Ecclesiarch, Syropulus, author of the history 
of this Council; also three hegumens, the Emperor's 
lower chaplain, three monks (hieromonachs), and several 
members of the Clergy .^ Gregory, the Emperor's chap- 
laiQ, called Mammas, possessing particular rights as 

1 Syr. iii. 16. 2 gyp. iii. 15. 


▼icar, first of the Patriarch of Antioch^ and then of 
Alexandria^ closely attached to the Emperor^ was ne- 
Tertheless incapable of using his rights to advantage in 
the canse of the Church. His character — mean^ irri- 
table^ without any set rules of conduct^ and at the same 
time ^otistical — repelled every one who came into con- 
tact with him^ and made him an object of universal 
hate. It really is astonishing how such a man could 
creep into the confidence of the Emperor^ a man always 
so cautious and prudent. 

Many laymen also accompanied the Emperor to Italy. 
Besides the Emperor^s brother^ Demetrius^ the despot^ 
several court ofiicers and learned men also joined the 
Imperial suite. High in the list of these persons^ on 
account of his great knowledge of theology and philo- 
sophy^ stood George Scholarius. Enjoying the con- 
fidence and good-will of John^ he was at the same time 
on friendly terms with Mark of Ephesus^ his teacher. 
The celebrated though aged philosopher^ Oemistes 
PlethOy was also taken to the Council. His advice was 
sought by the Emperor at the beginning of negotiations 
with the Church of Rome.^ In the Council he was a 
warm defender of orthodoxy^^ and at the same time re- 
vived in the Florentines a love for Plato^s philosophy, by 
his animated lectures on that subject while in Florence.^ 

November 27th, 1437, the Emperor, Patriarch, and 
other members of the clergy and laity, after many Te 
Deums in the great Church of Constantinople and the 
monastery of the Hodigetria, set out on their voyage.* 

1 Syr. yi 10. ? Syr. vii. 8. 

3 GkmnadiiiB und Fletho, Ton Grass, 1844, Breslau, § 27. 

♦ Syr. It. 1. A particular ectene was composed for the occasion : " We 


In the meantime Pope Eugenius, on the 18th of Oc- 
tober in the same year, published a bull^ in which it was 
said, that for the more advantageous union of the 
Churches and the bettering of Church affairs, brought 
by the Council of Basle into a condition worse than 
their former one, a Council was about to be convened 
in Ferrara, and that all the cardinals, bishops, and 
abbots are to remove immediately from Basle to Fer- 
rara, to discuss ecclesiastical affairs.^ Nicholas Al- 
bergati,^ Cardinal of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, at 
the Pope^s commission came to Ferrara with several 
bishops (Jan. 8, 1438), and opened the Council. When 
Eugenius himself arrived with his cardinals to the 
second sitting of the Council (Feb. 14), there were al- 
ready more than seventy bishops present. Then was 
read the Papal bull, excommunicating all present at the 
Council of Basle, degrading all the members of the 
clergy and laity from their respective ranks, and bidding 
the city magistrates expel all the Fathers of the Council 
from Basle, and that too in the course of a month, 
under pain of excommunication.^ 

The Council of Basle for its own part (in the sittings 
of October 12, 1437, and January 24, and March 24, in 
1438) declared the Council of Ferrara and all its acts 
illegal ; and after many invitations to Eugenius to come 
to Basle, excommunicated him, and finally demanded 
that all the bishops assembled in Ferrara should, in the 

also pray for the peace, success, amelioration, and union of the Christian 
Churches." Syr. iii. 18. 

1 Binii Concil. t. viii. p. 274. 

3 Yita B. Nicolai Albergati in Act. 35 Maii, t. L, p. 467, et seq. 

» Fleury, cii. 92. 


course of a months come to Basle^ under pain of eccle- 
siastical punishment for disobedience.^ Thus arose a 
new dissension in the Western Church ; and what was 
still worse, it was caused by those very persons who 
took upon themselves the duty of reconciling the Church 
of the East with their own.^ 

On the arrival of the Greeks at Venice, the Pope first 
sent Nicholas Albergati and then Julian Caesarini, in- 
viting the Emperor and Patriarch to Ferrara. Here, 
again, the Greeks questioned themselves, whether to go 
to Basle or to Ferrara. The Doge of Venice advised 
them to wait for the arrival of a new embassy from 
Basle. On the other hand, the Legate Christopher 
did his utmost to prevail upon the Emperor and Pa- 
triarch to join the Pope, more than once betaking him- 
self to presents and the most eloquent persuasions. At 
last the Greeks fell into his snares.^ The three weeks 
spent in Venice acted so beneficially on most of the 
Greeks, and even on some of the bishops, that they 
called it the promised land.* Here was another 
dangerous rock for the future defenders of orthodoxy ! 
Comparing the miserable state of their own empire, 
then nearly overpowered by the Turks, with the luxury, 
liberty, and comforts of Western life, the weaker Greeks 
were easily tempted to a peace, promising much for 
their earthly welfare. 

1 Binii Condi, t. viii. Basiliens. secc. xxix., xxxi., xxxii. 

^ In this sense Mneaa Sylvius, afterwards Pope of Eome, under the 
name of Pius II., wrote : " Bisit Oriens Latinorum insaniam, qui, sibi 
ipsi dissentientes, aliorum unionem perquirerent." 

3 Syr. It. 12—14. 

* The identical words of Dorotheus of Mitylene, the historian of the 
Council of Florence. Synod. Mor. p. 6. 


At Francolino^ a village situated at about an hour and 
a half s ride from Ferrara, the Emperor was met by the 
Papal legate, the city governor, and other town officials. 
The next day (March 4) the Emperor, accompanied by 
his suite, the Pope^s bishops and the officials of Ferrara, 
made his solemn entry into the town. The Pope, with 
the cardinals, bishops, and abbots, awaited him in the 
palace. On the Emperor's entrance the Pope arose, 
embraced him, and giving him his hand, which the 
Emperor kissed, seated him beside himself. After a 
private conversation, the Emperor retreated to the 
palace prepared for him.i 

The Patriarch arrived at Ferrara later than the Em^ 
peror. As soon as Joseph neared Francolino, a mag- 
nificent galley was sent out for him, and brought him 
to land with the bishops and the rest of the clergy. 
The next day the Emperor informed the Patriarch that 
the Pope expected him to bend his knees before him, 
and kiss his shoe. This was a sad blow for the Patriarchy 
who little expected such a welcome from his brother in 
Christ. While at Venice, he said to one in the Pope's 
confidence : '^ If the Pope is older than I am, I will re- 
spect him as a father ; if my equal in age, I shall look 
upon him as my brother; if younger, he shall be as a 
son to me." In the afternoon six bishops were sent to 
congratulate Joseph on his arrival, and demand the 
usual obeisance to the Pope. The Patriarch told the 
bishops straightforwardly that he could only consent to 
a brotherly embrace ; and, assembling tis bishops, in- 
dignantly told them of the papal demand. The Metro- 
politan of Trebizond reminded him that he was advised, 

^ Syrop. It. 17. Synod. Mor. viii. 11. 


irhile in Venice, to think upon the subject carefully; 
but then his answer was, that the Pope would receive all 
with honour and respect. The Metropolitan of Hera- 
dea deelared, that he and the Metropolitan of Monem- 
vasia, when presented to the Pope, did not kiss his 
shoes, and cared very little for his anger. Meanwhile, 
the Emperor sent another messenger, saying, that he 
was still disputing with the Pope as to the means of 
preserving the Patriarch^* dignity. Joseph made the 
following answer to the bishops sent a second time to 
him by the Pope : ^^Tell me, why does the Pope appro- 
priate such privileges to himself? What Council, what 
Church canon has confirmed this custom ? If the Pope 
is the successor of the Apostle Peter, we are the suc- 
cessors of the other Apostles. And did the other Apos- 
tles kiss Peter's feet? Who has ever heard of this ?" 
The legates answered that the custom was of ancient 
date, and that bishops, kings, the Emperor of Germany, 
and even the Cardinals, who are higher than the Em- 
peror, remain true to it. But the Patriarch with great 
decision kept to his former demand of a brotherly wel- 
come from the Pope, promising, in case of refusal, not 
to land, or let any of his bishops do so either. At last 
the Pope acquiesced to Joseph's demand, pretending a 
sincere desire for peace.^ 

On the 8th of March, four cardinals, about twenty- 
five bishops, the city governor, with many court officers, 
came to the Patriarch, and early in the morning accom- 
panied him with his clergy to the papal palace. The 
Pope, to conceal his forcjd humility from the people, 
would not give the Eastern fathers a solemn audience, 

1 Syr. It. 18—21. 


but received them in his cell. On the entrance of the 
Patriarch, with six Metropolitans, Eugenius arose, and 
gave him a brotherly kiss. The rest of the bishops 
next came up, six at a time, and kissed the Pope's hand 
and right cheek. During the presentation of the 
Greeks, the Patriarch alone sat on a low stool, to the 
left of the Pope, behind the legate Christopher, who 
acted as an interpreter: the other bishops remained 
standing. The same day the Patriarch asked the Pope's 
permission to officiate in the liturgy according to the 
rites of the Greek Church.^ 


Opening op thb Council in Feeeaea. Psivate disputes oh 


The arrangement of seats for the members of the 
Council in the cathedral of S. George was also the sub- 
ject of many disputes. The Latins wished the Papal 
throne to be erected in the centre of the church, and 
the Latin and Greek Bishops to take their places at the 
right and left side of the throne. On meeting with a 
refusal in this firom the Greeks, the Latins determined 
to move the Papal throne to the right aisle, and there 
construct places for the Latin Bishops, leaving the op- 
posite side for the Emperor, Patriarch, and the other 
Greeks. Next to the Papal seat, a throne was erected 
for the Emperor of Germany; then followed the seats 

* Syr. iy. 22, 23. Synod. Mor. pp. 14, 15. 


for the Cardinals and Bishops. On the left hand side 
a similar throne was constructed for the Greek Em- 
peror ; next to him a throne for the Patriarch and seats 
for the Eastern Bishops. In the centre of the church 
a separate place was left for the speakers, or those, who 
were to enter into dispute with each other. But even 
then the Greeks experienced much that was unpleasant. 
The Papal throne differed a good deal, not only from 
the Patriarch^s, but even the Emperor^s throne, by being 
more elevated and of richer material. The Patriarch 
complained. The Emperor simply remarked, that there 
was nothing but worldly vanity in the arrangement of 
the Council, contrary to the rules of the Church.^ 

Desiring to put in order the affairs of the Empire 
with the aid of the Western monarchs, John expressed 
his wish to the Pope, that not only the Western Bishops 
should preside at the Council, but also the sovereigns of 
Europe, or at least their representatives. The Pope at 
first refused to comply with the Emperor^s wish, seeing 
an impediment for it in the different wars and dissen- 
sions between the different kingdoms of Europe; but 
at the Emperor's urgent request, he promised to send 
his legate to the Kings and Princes of Europe with in- 
vitations to the Council. On this account the discus- 
sions on doctrinal subjects were put off for the space of 
four months. But in order not to lose time, the Pope, 
with the Emperor's consent, determined on opening the 
Council, hoping to entice a few Bishops from Basle by 
letting them know of the opening of the Council, gain 
over the general opinion and thus strengthen the weaker 
party. According to the Pope^s arrangement, delegates 

» Syr. iy. 25, 26. 


from both sides were to occupy themselves during these 
four months with private discussions on subjects of dis- 
agreement between the Greeks and Latins. 

At the same time^ the Emperor with great difficulty 
persuaded the Pope to allow the Greeks money for their 
maintenance^ instead of the daily rations of food they 
were receiving Uke beggars, quite contrary to the agree- 
ments made in the treaty.^ Generally speaking, the 
Greeks made constant complaints about this during the 
whole time of the CouncU session in Perrara and 
Florence. The Pope found this the best way of making 
the Greeks obedient. For whenever the Greeks refused 
to comply with any of his wishes, he immediately stopped 
their pay, so that many of the Bishops were obliged to 
sell their clothes. But as soon as the Greeks agreed to 
his proposals, their wages were immediately given out 
as a sort of reward for their obedience. So it was at 
this very time. As long as the Greeks disputed about 
the Council seats, no money was given them. But 
when the disputes were ended, their monthly allowance 
was paid out. 

A short time before the opening of the Council, new 
changes took place in the appointments of the vicars of 
Patriarchs. Gregory the chaplain was appointed second 
vicar of the Patriarch of Alexandria, together with the 
Metropolitan of Heraclea, and Mark of Ephesus, Vicar 
of Antioch with the Russian Isidore. It seems very 
evident, that the Emperor wished by means of these 
changes, to find in case of need among these representa- 

^ The Pope allowed the Emperor a monthly salary of 30 florins, the 
Patriarch 25, the Despot 20 ; 4 florins to the officers of the Imperial 
and Patriarchal court, and 3 florins to the servants. 


tiyes of the Patriarch at least one on his own side. With 
this object in view he appointed Gregory and Isidore^ 
persons both very weak in character^ together with the 
firm defenders of Orthodoxy — Antony of Heraclea and 
Mark of Ephesus. Dionysius the vicar of the Patriarch 
of Jerusalem was then iU and died soon after the open- 
ing of the Council.^ Ash Wednesday, the 9th of April, 
was fixed upon by the Pope for the opening of the 
Council. The Patriarch refused to be present under 
plea of illness, but gave his consent to the opening. 

The Pope was the first to enter the cathedral, and im- 
mediately sat down on his throne in the northern aisle. 
After him came the Emperor, with his brother, the pa- 
triarchal vicars, and the Bishops, with the lower orders 
of the clergy, and sat down opposite to the Pope. The 
Latin Church was represented by eight Cardinals, a 
great number of Bishops and lower clergy .^ On a desk 

^ Syr. iv. 27 — ^29. Syropulus, who received the ypdfifiara of the former 
yiean and gave new ones to the newly appointed ones with the Fatnarchs' 
snbflciiptioii, does not tell us where he got the ypdfifiara &om. Diony- 
sius, Metropolitan of Sardis, died on the 13th of April, as is seen from 
the epitaph composed by Bessarion of Mcsea. Tie Quien, 1. 1, p. 666. 
Syropolus (y. 1,) mentions the 24th of Apnl as the day of Dionysius' 

' * Different opinions are to be found concerning the number of Latin 
Bishops at the Council. Dorotheus of Mitylene before describing the 
opening of the Council, counts 150 Cardinals and Bishops (p. 17) ; but 
in the very description of the opening 200 are named (p. 20) . Syropulus 
mentions 11 Cardinals and 150 Bishops as present at the opening of 
the Coundl (t. 3). But only 141 members signed the act of union ; 
ionong them was the Fopd himself the Emperor, the patriarchal yicars, 
Latin and Ghreek Cardinals and Bishops, Hegumens, Abbots, and 
Hieromonachs. G^rge of Trebizond reckons. 400 fathers (Gh*sec. Orth. 
1, 579), but no &ith can be put in his words, as he makes out 200 of the 
Easterns alone. 


in the centre of the church before the altar, the gospel 
was placed, and on its sides the statues of S. Peter and 
S. Paul.^ As soon as silence was enforced, the Pope 
exclaimed : " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel V' 
Some psalms were then sung, and prayers said, after 
which the Greek Archdeacon read the patriarchal decree 
inviting all to take part in the Council. " All the higher 
orders of the clergy, kings, and princes,^^ the decree 
said, " are to send their vicars and ambassadors, if not 
able to come themselves. Whosoever will not come to 
the appointed time, and afterwards will not receive the 
decrees of this Council, shall be excommunicated from 
the Church.^^ The Papal decree was then read, relative 
to the opening of an (Ecumenical Council in Ferrara, 
and then this first short sitting was closed by hymns. 

The Pope sent copies of this decree to the Western 
monarchs, urging them to despatch their envoys to the 
Council.2 But all the expectations of the Pope proved 
fruitless. The Council of Basle continued to threaten 
the Papal throne, and threatened to excommunicate any 
one who should only dare to go to the Council convoked 
by the Pope. It is true, that the imperial court on 
Sigismund's death, declared that they would neither 
receive any Council decrees against the Pope, nor those 
of the Pope against the Council, but that they receive 
both the Council and the Pope. But not one of the 
western monarchs either approved of the Council con- 

^ In the KuBsian description of Isidore's mission to Florence, we find 
the following words : " and then bringing in, (the statues of) SS. Peter 
and Paul made of silver gilt, they placed them on the ground." Ancient 
Library, iv. 52. 

2 Syrop. iv. 31 ; v. 1. Syn. Flor. p. 15, 29. 


vened by the Pope, or wished to oppose the Council 
of Basle, and sent no envoys to the Council convoked in 
Italy. It was only towards the end of the Council sit- 
tings at Ferrara, that the envoys of the Duke of Bur- 
gundy arrived; on entering the Council they kissed the 
Pope^s slipper, but showed no marks of respect to the 
Emperor, behaving just as if he had never been pre- 

After Easter (April 13) the Pope required the Greeks 
to commence the private discussions. The Greeks de- 
layed, waiting for the envoys of Basle.^ But at last, 
after the Pope had repeated his demands three times, 
ten persons were chosen from both sides, who were to 
assemble three times a week in the church of a monas- 
tery, to discuss upon the different points of dispute.^ 
The Greeks chose from their side — the Metropolitans of 
Ephesus, Monemvasia, Nicaea, Lacedaemon, Anchialus, 
and five other members of the Council. The imperial 
oflScer Manuel Jagaris, was also ordered to be present. 
Strict orders were given by the Emperor that only Mark 
and' Bessarion should enter into disputes with the Latins, 
who were, nevertheless, in case of necessity, to seek 
counsel from the rest; that nothing was to be said on 

* Wissenberg, 1, p. 372. Synod. Flor. p. 297, et seq. 

2 Synod. Flor. p. 29. 

3 Here a slight difference occurs between the narrations of Syropulus 
and Dorotheus. One says, that three sittings took place every week, 
the other speaks of two only. The former says, that ten members were 
chosen &om each side ; the latter mentions twelve, including the two 
notaries. One says again, that the meetings were to take place in the 
church of the monastery of S. Andrew ; the other, in the church of S. 
Francis ; but the last named church might have been in the monastery 
of S. Andrew. Syr. v. 3. Syn. Flor. p. 29. 


the more serious points of dispute^ and that a report 
should be made to him at the end of every sitting.^ 
Generally speakings the Emperor wished that the im- 
possibility of reconciling Orthodoxy with the Latin doc- 
trine should not become too evident before he had at- 
tained the object in view. 

Soon after his arrival in Ferrara^ Mark of Ephesus^ at 
the instigation of Cardinal Julian, determined to write 
a letter of thanks to the Pope for the assembling of the 
Council ; and noticed in it, that if the Church of Rome 
wishes to finish as well as she has begun, then she must 
retract her doctrine on the procession of the Holy 
Ghost, and not perform the Liturgy in azymes. The 
Emperor on learning this nearly gave Mark over to the 
judgment of the Greek Council for daring to express 
such thoughts to the Latins.^ And even now, when 
authorizing the chosen persons to dispute with the 
Latins, he bade them not reject the Latin opinions 
simply on account of their disagreeing with the Greek 
doctrine, but to look upon every question as not yet 
decided, and then by universal efforts attain its so- 
lution, looking upon the opinion of all as final and 

The Latins chose for carrying on disputes two car- 
dinals, Julian Csesarini and Nicholas Albergati; An- 
drew, the Bishop of Colossus or Rhodes ; John de Tur- 
recremata ;* and several other abbots. 

1 Syr. V. 3. 2 gyj. y^ 2. » Syr. vii. 8. 

^ John the Spaniard, also called Turrecremata, a Dominican abbot, 
receiyed his education in the University of Paris, and, for his energy in 
the cause of the Bomish Church, received the Cardinalship from the 
Pope, and the title of " Pidei defensor et protector." Cave, Hist. Lit. 
t. xi. App. p. 143. . . 


In the third sitting of the Council^ Julian^ after mu- 
tual congratulations^ showed that the principal points 
of dispute between the Greeks and Latins were in the 
doctrine (a) on the procession of the Holy Ghost, 
(/3) on azymes in the Eucharist, (y) on purgatory, and 
(S) on the Papal supremacy; and then asked them 
which of these subjects was to be discussed first. 
The Greeks delayed discussing the first point till the 
opening of the (Ecumenical Council, and promised to 
give a speedy answer about the others as soon as the 
Emperor's advice should be heard. The Emperor 
fixed upon one of the two last subjects to commence 
discussions upon.^ The Latins agreed to discuss upon 

In the fifth sitting (June 4) Cardinal Julian gave the 
following definition of the Latin doctrine on purgatory : 
— ^' From the time of the Apostles,'^ he said, ''the Church 
of Home has taught, that the souls departed firom this 
world, pure and free from every taint, — namely, the 
souls of saints, — immediately enter the regions of bliss. 
The souls of those who after their baptism have sinned, 
but have afterwards sincerely repented and confessed 
their sins, though unable to perform the epitimia laid 
upon them by their spiritual father, or bring forth fruits 
of repentance sufficient to atone for their sins, these 
souls are purified by the fire of purgatory, some sooner, 
others slower, according to their sins ; and then, after 
their purification, depart for the land of eternal bliss. 
The prayers of the priest, liturgies, and deeds of charity 
conduce much to their purification. The souls of those 

> Syr. V. 7, 8. Synod. Flor. p. 30. 


dead in mortal sin, or in original sin, go straight to 

The Greeks demanded a written exposition of this 
doctrine. When they received it, Mark of Ephesus and 
Bessarion of Nice each wrote their remarks on it, which 
afterwards served as a general answer to the doctrine of 
the Latins.^ 

When giving in this answer (June 14th), Bessarion 
explained the difference of the Greek and Latin doc- 
trine on this subject. The Latins, he said, allow that 
now, and until the day of the last judgment, de- 
parted souls are purified by fire, and are thus liberated 
from their sins ; so that, he who has sinned the most 
will be a longer time undergoing purification, whereas 
he whose sins are less will be absolved the sooner, with 
the aid of the Church ; but in the future life they allow 
the eternal, and not the purgatorial fire. Thus the 
Latins receive both the temporal and the eternal fire, 
and call the first the purgatorial fire. On the other 
hand, the Greeks teach of one eternal fire alone, under- 
standing that the temporal punishment of sinful souls 
consists in that they for a time depart into a place of 

iSyr.v. 13. Synod.. Flop. p. 30. 

2 Syr. V. 13. The contents of Mark's answer, not published in Greek, 
are mentioned by Le Q.uien in one of his treatises, preceding the works of 
S. John Damascene, edited by him. Dissert. Damas. v. p. 65, et seq. 
Syropulus, relating the circumstances touching this dispute, refers his 
readers to the acts and notes of the Council about purgatory (xpaucruch 
vvofivfifiaTa irepl rod vvpyaroplov, Syr. V. 5) ; but these are not published 
separately, and are not even to be found in the Greek manuscripts. The 
answer of the Greek Fathers to the question on purgatory, given on 
the 14th of June, 1438, (not to the Basle, but the Florentine Council,) 
is mentioned in the book of Martin Eruze : Turcogreecia, p. 186. 


darkness and sorrow, are punished by being deprived of 
the Divine light, and are purified — that is, liberated 
from this place of darkness and woe — by means of 
prayers, the Holy Eucharist, and deeds of charity, and 
not by fire. The Greeks also believe, that until the 
union of the souls to the bodies, as the souls of sin- 
ners do not suffer full punishment, so also those of the 
saints do not enjoy entire bliss. But the Latins, agree- 
ing with the Greeks in the first point, do not allow the 
last one, affirming that the souls of saints have already 
received their full heavenly reward.^ 

In the following sitting the Latins presented a de- 
fence of their doctrine on purgatory. As much as can 
be concluded from the answer given by the Greeks to it, 
they tried to prove their doctrine by the words of 
2 Mac. xii. 42, 46, where it is said that Judas Macca- 
bseus '^sent to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering," re- 
marking at the same time ^^ that it was an holy and 
good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation 
for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin." 
They also quoted the words of Jesus Christ, '^ Whoso- 
ever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be 
forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the 
world to come." (S. Matt. xii. 32.) But their espe- 
cial defence was founded on the words of the Apostle 
S. Paul (1 Cor. iii. 11, 15) : " For other foundation 
can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus 
Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation 
gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble ; every 
man^s work shall be made manifest : for the day shall 
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire ; and the 

^ Synod. Flop. pp. 33, 35. 


fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If 
any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, 
he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be 
burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be 
saved, yet so as by fire." Different extracts were also 
made by the Latins from the works of the Eastern 
Fathers — Basil the Great, Epiphanius of Cyprus, John 
Damascene, Dionysius the Areopagite, Theodoret, Gre- 
gory of Nyssa ; and the Western — Augustine, Ambrose, 
and Gregory the Great. They did not also forget to 
quote the authority of the Church of Rome in de« 
fence of their doctrine, and to make use of their usual 

To all this the Orthodox party gave a clear and satis- 
factory answer.^ They remarked, that the words quoted 

^ The answer of the Gbeeks is usually thought to be the work 
entitled, vepl rod Ko^aprripiov irvphs $ifi\iov €v, edited together with 
the works of Nilus Oavasilas and the monk Barlaam, without the 
author's name. (Nili Archiep. Thessalon. de primatu Fapse, edit. 
Salmasii, HanoY. 1603.) As the name of the writer of this answer 
is not mentioned, it is sometimes referred to NUus Cavasilas and Hie 
monk Barlaam, though the manuscripts give no reason for doing so. 
(See Fabric. Bibl. Gtrsdc, Ed. HarL t. xi. p. 384 and 678.) From the 
work itself it is evident that it was written (a) not in the name of one 
person, but many persons, who had undertaken so long a journey, iffu^ 
ir6vov xnroffraffi Rwrh, r^v fxaucphy Ta^rrjv airo^rifxlay roffovrov ; (/8) that it 
was written to persons, who had busied themselves about the arrival of 
the Greeks to the Council ; hfitv re rSaoy 8* vvlp ttjs vpoKcifiiirris "^/jl&v 
ovveKc^ffeiTBcu trpoKarafiouvoviMtvois (nrovSijs ; (7) that it was written at 
the very commencement of the Council discussions, before other ques- 
tions were settled. This is the reason why the persons who composed 
this work tiy to give a peaceful solution not only of this question but, 
if possible, of all the other ones, obx iirl rod vpoKcifiivov vvvX to6tov 
(TiriifjiaTOSf &KKk icol ^irl irdvrotv tffus rSov itXKav. *A\X* iKclywv fitp 
ftviKd fi€\€i &€^ Kot fi€\'fiff€i .... (5) that it was written in reply to 


from the book of Maccabees^ and our Saviour's words, 
can only prove that some sins will be forgiven after 
death; but whether by means of punishment by fire, 
or by other means, nothing was known for certain. 
Besides, what has forgiveness of sins to do with pun- 
ishment by fire and tortures ? Only one of these two 
things can happen : either punishment or forgiveness, 
and not both at once. 

In explanation of the Apostle's words, they quoted 
the commentary of S. John Chrysostom, who, using the 
word fire, gives it the meaning of an eternal, and not 
temporary, purgatorial fire; explains the words wood, 
hay, stubble, in the sense of bad deeds, as food for the 
eternal fire ; the word day, as meaning the day of the 

the defence {h.voKoyiav) presented of the Rombh doctrine on purgatory. 
All these circumstances direct our attention to the dispute on purgatory 
which took place in Ferrara, and not to any other one known to us. 
The writer of the History of the Florentine Council, — Dorotheus of 
Mitylene, remarks, that the Latins, in their second answer, adduced 
many testimonies from the saints, examples and arguments, using 
also the Apostle's words for this purpose, — taved^ yet so as by fire. 
Synod. Flor. pp. 35, 36. All this found place in the defence also, in 
imswer to which the Latins presented the work we have been examining. 
Syropulus says that it was Mark of Ephesus who wrote the answer to 
the Latin defence, v. 15. But this answer, as weU as the first one, is 
not published. Le Quien, examining both these answers in his above- 
mentioned dissertation, quotes the principal ideas contained in this 
second answer of Mark. The same ideas, and in the same order, are 
also to be found in the work " On Purgatorial Fire," as well as the 
words quoted by IJe Quien from Mark's second answer, t( yhp Koivhv 
iul>4(r€i Tc Kcd Ka$dp(r€i 8(a Tvphs ko^ Ko\d(r€us. Dissert. Damasc. v. 
pp. 8, 9, 66, 67. All these arguments aUow us to conclude that the 
work on purgatorial fire was either entirely or principally composed by 
Siark of Ephesus, and that it was brought forward by the G-reeks in 
answer to the Latin defence of the doctrine on purgatory. 



last judgment ; and the words saved yet so as hy fire, as 
meaning the preservation and continuance of the sin- 
ner's existence while suflering punishment. Keeping 
to this explanation, they reject the other explanation 
given by S. Augustine, founded on the words shall be 
saved, which he understood in the sense of bliss, and 
consequently gave quite another meaning to all this 
quotation. " It is very right to suppose/' wrote the 
Orthodox teachers, " that the Greeks should understand 
Greek words better than foreigners. Consequently, if 
we cannot prove that any one of those saints, who spoke 
the Greek language, explains the Apostle's words, 
written in Greek, in a sense different to that given by 
the blessed John, then surely we must agree with the 
majority of these Church celebrities." The expressions 
(TcjoiYivai, a-aXfio-ioLiy and (rcoTrjpiot, used by heathen writers, 
mean in our language continuance, existence {hufAsvetv, 
elvai.) The very idea of the Apostle's words shows 
this. As fire naturally destroys, whereas those who are 
doomed to eternal fire are not destroyed, the Apostle 
says that they continue in fire, preserving and con- 
tinuing their existence, though at the same time they 
are being burned by fire. To prove the truth of such 
an explanation of these words by the Apostle, (ver. 11, 
15,) they make the following remarks : The Apostle 
divides all that is built upon the proposed foundation 
into two parts, never even hinting of any third, middle 
part. By ffold, silver, stones, he means virtues ; by hay, 
wood, stubble, that which is contrary to virtue, i. e., bad 
works. ^'Your doctrine," they continued to tell the 
Latins, ^' would perhaps have had some foundation 
if he (the Apostle) had divided bad works into two 


kinds, and had said that one kind is purified by God, 
and the other worthy of eternal punishment. But 
he made no such division; simply naming the works 
entitling man to eternal bliss, i.e., virtues, and those 
meriting eternal punishment, i.e., sins. After which he 
says, ^ Every man^s work shall be made manifest/ and 
shows when this will happen, pointing to that last 
day, when God will render unto all according to their 
merits: ^For the day,' he says, ^ shall declare it, be- 
cause it shall be revealed by fire.' Evidently, this is 
the day of the second coming of Christ, the coming 
age, the day so called in a particular sense, or as op- 
posed to the present life, which is but night. This is 
the day when He will come in glory, and a fiery stream 
shall precede Him. (Dan. vii. 10; Ps. 1. 3; xcvii. 
3; 2 S. Pet. iii. 12, 15.) All this shows us that 
S. Paul speaks here of the last day, and of the eternal 
fire prepared for sinners. ^ This fire,' says he, * shall 
try every man's work of what sort it is,' enlightening 
some works, and burning others with the workers. But 
when the evil deed will be destroyed by fire, the evil 
doers will not be destroyed also, but will continue their 
existence in the fire, and sufler eternally. Whereas 
then the Apostle does not divide sins here into mortal 
and venial, but deeds in general into good and bad; 
whereas the time of this event is referred by him to 
the final day, as by the Apostle Peter also ; whereas, 
again, he attributes to the fire the power of destroying 
all evil actions, but not the doers ; it becomes evident 
that the Apostle Paul does not speak of purgatorial fire, 
which, even in your opinion, extends not over all evil 
actions, but over some of the minor sins. But these 


words also, * If any man^s work shall be burned, he 
shall suffer loss/ (5>ijEAiood^(rgT«i, i. e., shall lose,) shows 
that the Apostle speaks of the eternal tortures ; they 
are deprived of the Divine light : whereas this cannot be 
spoken of those purified, as you say ; for they not only 
do not lose anything, but even acquire a great deal, by 
being freed from evil, and clothed in purity and can- 

In answer to the words quoted by the Latins from 
Basil the Great (in his prayer for Pentecost), Epipha- 
nius, John Damascene, and Dionysius the Areopagite, — 
the defenders of the orthodox doctrine remarked, that 
these quotations did not prove anything to the advan- 
tage of the Church of Rome. They could not even find 
the testimony of Theodoret adduced by the Latins. 
'^ Only one Father remains," they continued, ^' Gregory 
the blessed priest of Nyssa, who, apparently, speaks 
more to your advantage than any of the other Fathers. 
Preserving all the respect due to this Father, we cannot 
refrain from noticing, that he was but a mortal man, 
and man, however great a degree of holiness he may 
attain, is very apt to err, especially on such subjects, 
which have not been examined before or determined 
upon in a general Council by the Fathers." The ortho- 
dox teachers, when speaking of Gregory, more than once 
restrict their words by the expression : ^^ if such was his 
idea" and conclude their discussion upon Gregory with 
the following words : '^ we must view the general doctrine 
of the Church, and take the Holy Scripture as a rule for 
ourselves, nor paying attention to what each has written in 
his private capacity (i8/a) ." 

The Eastern teachers said, concerning the testimonies 


of the Western Fathers, that they were rather ignorant 
of them, not having any translation in Greek, and tried 
to excuse them by the circumstances under which they 
wrote, their misunderstanding the Apostle's words (1 Cor. 
iii. 11, 15), the diflBculty of drawing a general conclusion 
from many circumstances (founded on visions), &c. 

As regards the weight of the opinion of the Church 
of Rome pointed to by the Latins, it was found by the 
Greeks to be inconsistent with the subject then in hand. 

Lastly, to the Latin sophistries, they opposed the 
more valid conclusions from the principles of the doc- 
trine of Christ, from many works of the Fathers, from 
the parable of Lajsarus, where mention is made of Abra- 
ham's bosom, — the place of bliss, — and of hell the place 
of punishment ; and nothing is said of any intermediate 
place for temporal punishments. 

The Greek answer was evidently intended to show the 
Latins the unsoundness of their newly-invented doc- 
trine on the one side, and the steadfastness of the or- 
thodox party in the faith handed down to them by the 
Apostles and the holy Fathers, on the other. In the 
course of the disputes the principal question branched 
off into so many light and abstract questions, that as a 
matter of course the solution of the chief one became 
still more difiBcult. The Latins for instance asked — 
where and how the angels fly ? what was the substance 
of hell fire ? The last question met with the following 
answer from Jagaris, the imperial officer : ^' the querist 
will get a satisfactory solution to his question, when he 
experiences the nature of that fire himself.''^ 

The question on purgatory not being agreed upon, 

1 Syp. V. 16, 18 J Syn. Flor. p. 35, 37. 


another one was proposed — that about the blissful state 
of the righteous, alluded to by Bessarion in his treatise 
on the difference of the doctrines of both Churches on 
the condition of the departed souls. It was asked : 
whether the saints^ departed &om this life, attained 
entire bliss or not? Before discussing this question, 
the Greeks found it necessary to have a private confer- 
ence with the other members of the Council. With 
this intention all the members assembled in the Patri- 
arch's cell (July 15,) and read over different testimonies 
of the Fathers ; the Emperor bade them collect their 
votes. Some gave a negative answer to the question^ 
founding it on the Apostle's words, (Heb. xi. 39,) others 
gave a positive answer. The next day, after a few dis- 
putes, the whole Council of Greek Bishops unanimously 
agreed, that though the souls of the saints, as souls, are 
already in the enjoyment of bliss, stiQ when, at the 
general resurrection they will join their bodies, then 
their bliss will be greater; that then they will be en- 
lightened like the sun.^ This was their last answer to 
the Latin doctrine on the state of souls after death. 

What then were the fruits of these tedious discus- 
sions ? Did they conduce in any manner to the solu- 
tion of the principal question concerning the union of 
Churches ? No ! The Latin theologians could neither 
find firm proofs for their opinions, nor would they give 
them up. The Greeks again would not receive a doc- 
trine not founded on any good proofs, nor could they 
incline the Latins to receive the orthodox doctrine. 

To the misfortune of the Greeks, their own party also 
became divided, a circumstance which prognosticated 

1 Synod. Flop. 37—39. 


nothing good. Bessarion^ generally speakings was not 
very earnest in the defence of the orthodox cause^ and 
if he did dispute with the Latins now and then, it was 
only to show oflf his powers of speech.^ But meeting 
with a rival in Mark of Ephesus,^ he became still more 
passive in the cause of orthodoxy, and began to nourish 
a feeling of hatred towards Mark. Obliged to answer 
the Latins together with bim, he usually left Mark to 
refiite their various objections alone. It was in vain, 
that many prudent persons tried to reconcile Bessarion 
to Mark at the very commencement of the former^s 
enmity to the latter, even calling to their aid the au- 
thority of the Patriarch, who by his meek reproofs might 
have ended the quarrel. The invalid Joseph would on 
no account meddle in this aflfair.^ Then again the cun- 
ning Gregory, offended that Mark did not find him wor- 
thy of being the vicar of the Patriarch of Alexandria,* 
did his utmost to set Bessarion against Mark. Ap- 
parently he esteemed Mark, sat down lower than he did 
in the Council,^ voted after him, notwithstanding the 
privileges of a higher patriarchal throne were on his 
side ; when his opinion was the same as MarVs, he never 
spoke of himself, but always said : " I am of the same 
opinion as the holy Metropolitan of Ephesus."^ But 

^ It is worthy of notice, that when the Ghreeks, seeing the obstinate 
opposition of the Latins to the truth, wished to terminate all the dis- 
cussions, Bessarion alone insisted that they should be continued, the 
subject alone being changed. ** We can still say many nice things," were 
his words. (iroM^ koI ica\^.) Syr. yii. 6. 

' Mark was commissioned to write the Latins an answer about pur- 
gatory, and not Bessarion ; but Bessarion did nevertheless give in his 
answer also. 

* Syr. V. 14—17. * Syr. iv. 29. « Syr. iv. 32. « Syr. Til. 10. 



this was sheer hypocrisy. In the presence of Bessarion 
and the Emperor, he placed Mark lower than the Arch- 
bishop of Nicaea,^ and found fault with everything he 
said, not caring about this self-contradiction.^ 

Thus it was, that as soon as the Greeks commenced 
discussions, there arose men who, separating from the 
true members of the Eastern Church, sacrificed the ad- 
vantages of the Church to their own passions and ad- 

The disputes ended. More than three months had 
already elapsed since the opening of the Council. The 
Greeks remaining inactive, and suffering want in every- 
thing,3 began to feel dull and sorry that they had left 
their homes. 

The Emperor, fearing that the discontented would 
prematurely leave the Council, ordered the city governor 
not to let any of the Greeks leave the town, nor to give 
any one passports without his permission and signature. 
He himself, having shut up the Greeks in Ferrara, 
settled in a monastery not far from the town, and spent 
his time in the field, hunting, as if he were even loth to 
remind himself of a business which had called him away 
from his Empire.* 

^ Syr. V. 14. 2 gyj.^ y^ 15^ 

3 The first pay-day of the Q-reeks was the 2nd of April. 691 florins 
were given them on one month's account, whereas their pay was due for 
a month and a half. Syr. iv. 28. On the second pay-day (May 12) 
they received 689 florins (Syr. v. 9) ; on the third day (June 30th) 689 
florins ; — on Oct. 21, 1218 florins for two months. The fifth and last 
pay-day was at Ferrara, Jan. 12th, 1439, when 2412 florins were paid 
for four months (Syr. vii. 14). Thus, three months and twenty days 
elapsed between the third and fourth pay-day, and as much between the 
fourth and fifth. 
* Syr. vi. 1, 2. 


As soon as the time fixed upon for the opening of the 
solemn sessions of the Council had arrived^ the Greeks 
asked the Emperor to return to town and make some 
arrangements about the Council. The Emperor an- 
swered^ that he would not even think of opening a 
Council^ which was to be an (Ecumenical one^ without 
the ambassadors of the Western monarchs^ and a more 
numerous assembly of Sishops than the present one. 
Sut the members of the Council instead of increasing 
only diminished in number. Many fell victims to a 
frightftd epidemic; others, from fear, retired to their 
homes; so that at the commencement of the solemn 
session, out of eleven Cardinals only five remained, and 
out of one hundred and fifty Bishops only fifty were 
present. It was at this time that the Greeks received a 
proof of Divine protection. None of them suffered 
from the epidemic.^ 

One addition only was made to the Council in the 
person of Isidore, Metropolitan of Russia, who arrived 
on the 18th of August. He had returned to Russia 
after the conclusion of the treaty between the Em- 
peror and the Council of Basle (in the end of 1436). 
With him was to have returned Jonah, Bishop of 
B/iazan, sent to Greece to be ordained Metropolitan. 
Arriving at Moscow, Isidore was received by the Grand 
Duke Vasili Vasilievitch with all due honour. But 
soon after his arrival, he began telling the Grand Duke 
that the Greek Church intended to unite with the 
Church of Biome, that a Council was convened by the 
Emperor and the Pope with this object in view, — to be 
followed by the solemn union of the East and West, — 

» Syr. vi. 3. 


and that it was very necessary that a representative of 
the Russian Church should take part in the Council. 
The Grand Duke answered, " Our fathers and grand- 
fathers would not even listen to an union of the Greek 
and Roman laws; I myself do not wish it.^' Isidore 
urged him to consent, pleading his oath given to the 
Patriarch of coming to the Council. " We do not com- 
mand thee to join the Council in the Latin land," said 
the Grand Duke at last, " but thou listest not, and wilt 
go. Remember then the purity of our faith, and bring 
it back with thee." Isidore swore to remain true to 
Orthodoxy, and (on Sep. 8, 1437) left Moscow with 
Abram, Bishop of Suzdal, Vassian the Archimandrite, 
the Priest Simeon, and other members of the clergy and 
laity, in all a hundred. On quitting Russia, Isidore very 
soon evinced a violent inclination to side with the Latins. 
Received in Livonia by the Bishop of Dorpat, and the 
Orthodox Clergy, he first saluted the Latin cross and 
only afterwards kissed the holy Russian icons. The 
companions of Isidore were horror-struck, and from 
that very moment lost all their confidence in him.^ 


The solemn Sessions op the Council. Disputes on the Latin 


Eugenius was still expecting the arrival of his legate 
from France. And when he did arrive, the news were 

^ History of the Bussian Empire by Karamzin. Emerling's ed. t. y. 
pp. 161—165. 


anything but favourable. Prance had secured herself 
from the Pope^s influence by means of the pragmatic 
sanction (July 7, 1438) founded on the decrees of the 
Council of Basle ; at the same time Charles VII., King 
of Prance, prohibited his Bishops from going to Per- 
rara.^ At this juncture the Pope commenced press- 
ing the Greeks to begin the formal discussions on the 
peace of the Churches. " You have been already seven 
months in Italy/^ he said to them, ^^ and during that 
time you have signed but one paper — that announcing 
the opening of the Council.^^^ At length the Emperor 
returned to town, and after several private interviews 
with the Pope determined on opening the State Session 
of the Council on the 8th of October. 

In the preliminary discussions between the Greeks it 
was determined to settle all disputes not by the majority 
of votes, which could always be more numerous in the 
Latin party than in the Greek one, but by the general 
assent of one or the other side. Otherwise — said the 
Greeks — the Latins will have more than two hundred 
votes against our thirty. It is necessary that the votes 
of one party, irrespectively of their number, should, 
when taken altogether, have as much force as the force 
of the opposite party^s votes. Those who shall leave the 
Greeks and join the Latins, and vice vers&, are to be 
strictly punished.^ 

Then, on calling together the six eldest Metropolitans, 
the Chartophylax and Ecclesiarch, two hegumens, with 
a hieromonach, and three learned Greeks, — Scholarius, 

^ * Weissenberg, S . 379. Syropulus himself makes mention of this 
embassy, and the Pope's disappointment in his views on France. 
' Syr. vi 5. ^ Syr. yi. 9, 10. 


Gemistes, and Amirutius, — the Emperor demanded their 
opinion as to what subject should open the discus- 
sions on the Procession of the Holy Ghost? Was 
it better to begin by discussing whether the doctrine of 
the Western Church on the procession of the Holy 
Ghost is Orthodox ? Or, whether she had the right of 
making any addition to the Symbol, even if it had been 
a correct one ? These two questions gave rise to two 
different opinions of the members present. Mark of 
Ephesus, and Gemistes, the philosopher, chose the latter 
question, and most of the others joined them. Bessarion 
of Nicaea, Scholaiius and Amirutius, demanded that the 
dogma itself should be discussed upon before anything 
else. The Emperor, joining the majority, settled that 
the disputes with the Latins should commence with the 
addition to the Symbol.^ 

Lastly, the Emperor gave notice that, on consulting 
with the Cardinals, he had arranged that there should 
always be three Council sittings in the week; ajad that 
in case of the Emperor, Patriarch, or any of those ap- 
pointed to attend the sitting, being absent, the sitting 
itself should not be put off to another day. The place 
of the absent member was to be occupied by the next 
one in order. Every sitting was to commence an hour 
and a half after sunrise, and continue till the sixth hour 
of the day. The Greeks gave their consent to these 
arrangements, signing their names to them, and de- 
manded the right of proposing questions to the Latins.^ 

The Greek party appointed the following persons to 
take part in the Council sitting : — the Metropolitans of 
Ephesus and Russia, the Archbishop of Nicaea, and with 

1 Syr. yi. 12. * Syr. vi. 13. 


them Gemistes the philosopher^ the Chartophylax and 
Skeuophylax.^ But in reality all the discussions with 
the Latins were entrusted by the Emperor to the Me- 
tropolitan of Ephesus, and the Archbishop of Nicsea, — 
the civil officers were forbidden to take any part in the 
Council affairs. The Latins, for their part, chose the 
Cardinals Julian Caesarini and Nicholas Albergati ; the 
Bishops — Andrew of Rhodes, John of Forli, and two 
Doctors of Divinity — ^monks; one of whom, John, a 
provincial of the Dominican Order, took a special part 
in the Council discussions.^ The Cardinals announced 
the Pope^s will, that all the Council sittings should take 
place in his palace chapel, under the plea that it was 
not proper for the Pope and a few Bishops to make 
their way to the Cathedral Church through a crowd of 

In all, fifteen sittings were held in Ferrara.* Two 

^ Syropulus, the Ecclesiarch, was appointed one of the speakers on 
the Ghreek side, but at his urgent request was allowed to retire. Sjr. 
vi. 13. 

2 Syr. vi. 13, Syn. Flor. pp. 43, 44. See also Oudini Comment, de 
Scriptor. Eccles. t. iii. p. 2342, about John de Monte Nigro, the cele- 
brated divine of his time and Provincial of Lombardy. There his 
speeches are enumerated, pronounced by him at the Ooimcil of Florence, 
in the Greek translation. 

' Syr. vi. 14. Dorotheus of Mitylene gives us another reason why 
the Pope refused to open the Council in the former Cathedral Church, 
viz., the Pope was then ill with the gout. Syn. Flor. p. 41. 

* Here Syropulus and Dorotheus disagree a Uttle with regard to the 
time and number of the Council sittings, and also as regards the way 
affidrs were conducted in the sittings. Syropulus reckons that two sittings 
had ti^en place before Mark of Ephesus began reading the Council de- 
crees on the Symbol of Faith ; Dorotheus counts four sittings. Syro- 
pulus says that the first meeting took place on the 6th of October, 
the second on the 13th of the same month ; whereas, according to 


months passed away in disputes^ ending just like the 
former ones, in nothing at all. Both sides retained 
their respective opinions. The only advantage of the 
Greeks was, that they defended the truth. 

On the appointed day the Emperor and all the Bishops 

Dorotheus' reckoning, the first one took place on the 8th ; the second 
on the 11th ; the third and fourth on the 14th and 15th of October. 
Syropulus again says, that the Council was opened by the speech of the 
Latin Bishop — Andrew, of Rhodes ; Dorotheus refers this speech to 
the Ghreek Archbishop — ^Bessarion, of Nicsea ; and says, that Andrew's 
speech was made at the second sitting. Syropulus says that Mark of 
Ephesus also made an introductory speech during the first sitting; 
Dorotheus refers this speech to the third sitting. And then, at the 
same time, they agree with each other in saying, that the reading of the 
Council acts was begun by Mark, on the 16th of October, the day of the 
third sitting, according to Syropulus, and the fifth with Dorotheus. 
Andrew's answer to this is referred by Syropulus to the three following 
sittings : fourth, fifth, and sixth ; and by Dorotheus only to the sixth 
and seyenth, and with the same dates as are fixed for the two last sit- 
tings by Syropulus. We find no other difference in the narratives of 
Syropulus and Dorotheus, except in the number of sittings j Syropulus* 
seventh sitting corresponds to Dorotheus' eighth one, the eighth to the 
ninth, and so on. Then, again, the eleventh sitting, according to Syro- 
pulus, took place on the 18th of November, and Dorotheus' correspond- 
ing twelfth one on the 15th of that month. What is the reason of their 
disagreeing with each other ? Most likely it must be sought for in the 
inaccuracy and uncorrectness of the Council Notes, made use of by both 
the writers, as is to be seen fi'om their both mentioning the Council 
speeches in one and the same expressions. In order to fix upon the 
time of the sittings, we can have recourse to the note about their time 
and number, preserved in our Bussian memoirs of the 8th Council, 
most likely written by one of Isidore's Russian companions. Antiq. 
Biblioth. ed. 2, t. vi. pp. 37, 38. The Bussian writer counts one sit- 
ting less than Syropulus, because he does not count the sftting, shown by 
Syropulus as the fourth. In the other notes on the time of the sittings 
he agrees with Syropulus, except as regards the time of the first sitting, 
which he, as does also Dorotheus, fixes on the 8th of October. 


assembled in the Papal. palace^ which was already sur- 
rounded by crowds of people. The Pope also soon made 
his appearance. The seats for the members of the 
Council were arranged just as they were before in the 
Church of S. George. In the centre of the Chapel, 
between the Emperor and Pope, two benches were occu- 
pied by the twelve Greek and Latin speakers, who sat 
opposite to each other. By the side of the speakers 
stood the Greek and Latin reporters and translators. 

Bessarion opened the meeting with a speech on the 
importance of peace between the Churches. In this 
speech he urged the Council not to spare any means for 
bringing the great enterprise to a successful end, at the 
same time supplicating the aid of the Holy Trinity 
for those assembled to investigate the truth, and for 
peace between the two separated parts of Christ^s one 
fold. He praised the Pope, Emperor, Patriarch and all 
present at the Council, for their sincere wish and firm 
resolution of reinstating peace in the Church, and 
begged the Pope and the Emperor to honour the Coun- 
cil with their constant aid and furtherance of its views. 
A similar speech was also made by the Latin Bishop 
Andrew of Rhodes.^ 

After these preliminary speeches, Mark of Ephesus 
broached the chief subject of the Council "discussions. 
" Love was bequeathed by our Lord Jesus Christ,^^ he 
said, '^ to His disciples, and His peace He left them : 
but the Church of Home began to neglect the com- 
mandment of love, and broke the peace. At present 
that same Church, by assembling this Council, evinces 
a desire of reinstating the peace, but this she can only 

^ Syn. Flor. pp. 44 — 49. 


accomplish by rejecting the opinion which has been and 
is the cause of disagreement between the Churches ; 
and the present Council will then meet with success^ 
when it agrees with the Canons of the former (Ecu- 
menical Councils. With this object in view, Mark then 
demanded, that the Canons of those Councils touching 
the subjects of the present disputes should be read in 
the Council before anything else.^^^ 

This demand was just ; but the Latins of course could 
not accede to it, as such a step would more certainly 
have exposed the Church of Rome. This was the very 
reason why they contradicted Mark then, and afterwards 
in a private meeting did their utmost to prevent the 
Greeks furthering Mark^s demand. Two Cardinals, 
Julian and Nicholas, with several Bishops, came to the 
Patriarch^s cell, and th^re in the presence of the Em- 
peror and many Greek Bishops, urged the Greeks 
to delay the reading of the Canons, or at least to 
change the solemn reading of the Canons in the Council 
into a private investigation of them.^ But neither 
of their propositions received the consent of the Greeks. 
The Latins were obliged to give in, though at the 
same time they solemnly declared, that this reading 
would be for the Greeks alone, and that it had not re- 
ceived the general consent of the members.^ Every- 

^ Syr. Ti. 14 ; Syn. Flor. pp. 60—75. 

' Syr. vi. 18 j Syn. Flop. p. 84. Dorotheus says, that the meeting in 
the Patriarch's apartments took place on the 15th of October, and Syio- 
pulus on the 14th of that month. 

3 * Pii/ayvacrOiyrooffav iu rats vfitripius (Tvffrdxreffiyf &s 6fi4r€pov BiKoioVf 
ou fiiiy &s airb koiv^s ^ r)fi€T4pas OcX-fitretcSt were John's words, when the 
Fathers had assembled to witness the reading of the Council Canons. 
Syn. Flor. p. 36. 


thing was done to lessen the solemnity of that sittings 
in which the reading was to take place. The people 
were not allowed to enter the Cathedral in so great a 
number as before. The Gospel on the desk was closed, 
the statues of the Apostles were placed with their faces 
downwards, and no candles were lit before them.^ 

On the appointed day (16th of October) the books 
containing the acts of the (Ecumenical Councils were 
brought into the Council. The referendarius under 
Mark^s guidance read one by one the definitions of the 
Councils and Fathers on the Symbol of Faith. Ni- 
cholas Secundini translated them into Latin. Mark 
of Ephesus now and then interrupted the readings by 
his remarks. 

''Let us begin/^ said Mark, "with the acts of the 
Third (Ecumenical Council, so famed for its symbol of 
the Nicene Fathers, and by the Canon of the Ephesine 
Fathers themselves on the preservation of the Symbol 
in its original condition.^^ Thus, the seventh Canon of 
the Council of Ephesus and the exposition of faith 
drawn up at the First (Ecumenical Council were read, 
showing that the Church strictly prohibited the use 
of any other creeds, after the Nicene, threatening in 
case of disobedience — Bishops with being deposed, and 
the laity with excommunication. When these Canons 
were read, Mark said: "The Fathers of the Council 
having passed this Canon, have by their own example 
shown a great respect for the Nicene Creed, for they 
would not allow the addition of Theotocos, a name so 
necessary in the economy of our salvation. In the 
Canon of the Council of Ephesus, plain reference is 

1 Syr. vi. 19. 



made to the Nicene, and now the Niceno-Constantmo- 
politan Creed, in which the dogma of the procession of 
the Holy Ghost is more developed. To explain this, 
Mark said, that the Fathers of Ephesus receive both 
Creeds as one, and call it the Nicene Creed from respect 
to the Council which gave rise to it, just in the same 
manner as the following Councils also called it the Ni- 
cene Creed. Lastly, to explain the Ephesine Canon, 
and confirm all in the conviction, that this Canon pro- 
hibits not only the drawing up of any other Creeds, but 
also any explanation whatever of the Nicene Creed by 
means of any addition, Mark quoted the words of S. 
Cyril of Alexandria, who presided over the Council of 
Ephesus, contained in his epistle to John of Antioch. 
In this epistle S. Cyril forbids any change whatsoever 
in the Symbol, be it even in a word, or syllable.^ This 
epistle, Mark continued, was read with many other 
epistles at the Fourth (Ecumenical Council, which re- 
ceived and confirmed it. 

Then was read the decree of the Fourth (Ecumenical 
Council of Chalcedon (in the 5th act), commanding all to 
receive the Nicene Creed and Niceno-Constantinopolitan 
Creeds as one. " For the Fathers of this Council," 
added Mark, " on reading both these Creeds, said : 
This holy Creed is sufficient for the full knowledge of 
the truth, for it contains in itself the full doctrine on 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.^^^ 

1 " We prohibit," S. Cyril wrote, " any change whatever in the Greed 
of Faith drawn up by the holy Nicene Fathers. We do not allow our- 
selves, or any one else to change or omit one word or syllable in that 
Creed." Binii Concil. t. i. par. 2, p. 430. 

2 Sinii Concil. t. xi. par. L. 252. 


Then followed the reading of the exhortation of John, 
Patriarch of Constantinople, to the people, contained 
in the acts of the Council of Constantinople (518), in 
which the Patriarch exhorts all to keep to theNiceno-Con- 
stantinopolitan Creed steadfastly and unerringly.^ The 
epistle of Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople to Pope 
Vigilius, taken from the acts of the Fifth (Ecumenical 
Council, was also read. In this epistle the Patriarch 
testifies, that he receives all the definitions made by the 
four (Ecumenical Councils, and truly preserves that faith 
which the holy Fathers explained and confirmed at those 

The Canon of the Sixth (Ecumenical Council was 
also read confirming the Creed drawn up by the two 
first Councils, and received as a rule of faith by the 
three following ones.^ After that extracts were made 
from the two epistles of Pope Agatho to the Greek 
Emperor, contained in the same acts of the Sixth 
Council. In these epistles the Pope says, that the 
Church of Rome upholds* the faith bequeathed by the 
five (Ecumenical Councils, and takes great care, that 
all defined by the Canons should remain unchanged, 

1 "We must keep," said the Patriarch, " to the holy Creed drawn up 
by the Council of Nice by the grace of the Holy Ghost, approved of 
by the Council of Constantinople, and confirmed by that of Chalcedon." 
Bimi ConciL t. ii. par. 1. p. 732. In Mark's speech it is said, that this 
was taken from the acts of the fifth (Ecumenical CounciL 

2 " We always kept," says Eutychius, " and do keep the fidth ex- 
pluned by the Fathers present at the four Councils, and follow those 
Councils in ereiything." This epistle is adduced in Mark's speech firom 
Pope Vigilius, as it is all contained in the Pope's epistle, and is ap- 
proved of by him. Binii Concil. t. xi. par.* 2. p. 48. 

' Syn. Sext. Act. xviii. ; Binii Concil. t. iii. par. 1, sect. 1. p. 182. 


nothing added or taken away, and be kept inviolate both 
in words and thoughts.^ 

In conclusion, the definition of the Seventh CEcu- 
menical Council was read, in which the Niceno-Con- 
stantinopolitan Creed is repeated. On reading the acts 
of this Council it was remarked, that all present at the 
Second (Ecumenical Council of Nice exclaimed, after 
listening to this Creed : We all believe this ; we all 
think alike. This is the faith of the Apostles, this is 
the Orthodox faith. . . . Let him who receives not this 
faith be excommunicated. ^ 

When this passage from the acts of the Seventh 
(Ecumenical Council, containing the Symbol of faith, 
was read, the Latins presented a parchment, in their 
opinion, very old Greek^ copy of the acts of this Coun- 
cil, where in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed it is 
said, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father 
and the Son. With the exception of the addition to 
the Creed, this copy, on being compared with another 
copy then in the hands of the Greeks, was found to cor- 
respond to it exactly. The Latins concluded from this 
copy, that the Fathers of the Seventh (Ecumenical 
Council read the Symbol of Faith with the Filioque 
addition. Cardinal Julian also quoted some old histo- 
rian, who as it were certifies, that the Fathers of the 

^ Bin. ibid. p. 25. In another epistle Pope Agatho writes : " The 
ApostoUc seat preserves the Catholic and ApostoUc fsiith. We believe 
in God the Fatheb, and His Only-Begotten Son, and the Holy G-host, 
the LoBD and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Fatheb, Who 
with the Fatheb and the Son is together worshipped and together glo- 
rified." Bin. ibid. p. 46. 

2 Bin. ibid. p. 685, 693. ' 

•* Syr. says : iWriviKws l^*"' ''^ vpcucTuch, 


Seventh (Ecumenical Council read the Symbol of Faith 
with the addition^ but Julian did not mention this 
historian^s name.i 

It was then^ that Gemistes in short and plain terms 
showed the Latins the erroneousness of their conclusion. 

^ Some persons think that Julian referred to Martin, a Pole, Bishop 
of Ghiesen, who says in his History, that the Second CounciL of Nice 
decreed to admit the procession of the Holy Q-host from the Father 
and the Son. (Zoemikoff, Tractatus de process. Spiritus S. 1774. par. 
1. p. 199.) This Martin lived in the fourteenth century, whereas the 
Council was held in the end of the eighth century : what force then can 
such a testimony have, when it is contradicted hy many other copies in 
which the Filioque clause does not appear ? Besides, many other argu- 
ments can he adduced to prove, that the Creed was not touched or altered 
at the Seventh (Ecumenical Council ; (a) how could an addition to the 
Symbol be made, without any allusions being made of the reasons for 
such an act, in the very acts of the Council ? (0) The Fathers of the 
Seventh CEcumenical Council notice before they begin the reading of the 
Creed, that they " do not alter anything, do not add or subtract any- 
thing fix)m the doctrine of futh, and carefully preserve the Creed handed 
down to them by the former Councils." (7) In the very Church of 
Borne the Creed was read without the addition for a long time after the 
Seventh (Ecumenical CounciL In this form (i.e. without the addition) 
it was engraved by order of Pope Leo III. on silver tablets, in Greek 
and Latin, as is seen from the testimony of Fhotius in his epistle to the 
Bishop of Aquilea, and even the Latin writers : Anastasius, the Eoman 
book-keeper, Peter Bamian, and others. (Zoemikoff, ibid. p. 391.) 
The learned Latins avow themselves, that the Church of Borne allowed 
the addition in the Creed, when read during the Liturgy, not earlier / 
than the tenth or the beginning of the eleventh century. (Le Quien 
Dissert. Damasc. i. p. 13, 15.) (8) The oldest Latin copies of the a^s 
of the seventh (Ecumenical Council do not contain the addition to/the 
Creed. In Peter Pitheus* library such a copy, taken from a tran^tion 
made in the ninth century by Anastasius the librarian, was preserved, 
but without the Filioque clause. PithsBus, Hist, controversise de pro- 
cess. Spirit. S., Paris, 1609. See upon this subject Zoemikoff, pp. 198 
— 202 : CTheophan. Procopowitz, Theologia Orthodoxa, t. i. p. 1072 — 
1074. \ 





" If the testimonies of your copy and your historian 
were just, or at least had been long ago known in the 
Church of Rome/' said Gemistes, "then no doubt your 
Thomas Aquinases and the Divines preceding would not 
have made use of so many arguments to prove the va- 
lidity of the addition. Instead of this, they might have 
simply referred to the addition made to the Creed by 
the Seventh (Ecumenical Council. But vour divines 
are silent about this.^'^ Evidently the copy produced 
by the Latins at the Council, was forged at the time 
of the controversy between the Orthodox and Latin 
Churches on the procession of the Holy Ghost. 

On finishing the reading, Mark of Ephesus concluded 
by saying : " Thus, the Greeks, obeying the decrees of 
the Councils and the exhortations of the Fathers, and 
mindful of their oath, cannot admit the addition to the 
Creed to be a right and lawful one. Nevertheless they 
are ready to listen to the proofs brought forward by the 
Latins to attest the justness of their addition.^' 

At the end of the sitting, many of the Latins them- 
selves, especially the monks present at the Council, after 
having heard the Council decrees, and Mark's explana- 
tion of them, avowed that they had never heard any- 
thing of the sort before, and that the Greeks teach more 
correctly than the Latin theologians.^ 

Andrew of Rhodes answered to the arguments made 
use of by Mark against the addition to the Creed. In 
his lengthened speech during two or more sittings,^ he 

» Syr. vi. 19 ; Syn. Flor. 85—117. 

2 Syr. yi. 19 ; Syn. Flor. 114—115. 

' Namely, during the sixth and seventh sittings according to Doro- 
theus' reckoning, or the fourth, fifth and sixth as Syropulus has it. 
Andrew's speech yide in Synod. Flor. p.- 136, 183. 


tried to prove, 1. That the words " and the Son " are 
no addition, but simply an explanation of the words, 
"Who proceedeth from the Pather,^^ contained in the 
Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed : 2. That such expla- 
nations are in no way prohibited by the Canons of the 
Councils : and 3. That the Church of Rome had a right of 
making such an explanation and inserting it in the Creed. 
To prove that the Latin addition is not an addition, hut 
only an explanation, — ^the Bishop of Rhodes entered into 
a preliminary discussion on the sense of the words " ad- 
dition'^ and " explanation/' and then applied the results 
of his disquisition to the subject in hand. " An addi- 
tion,^' said he, "is the adding of something extra to 
a subject; an explanation is the exposition of what is 
within (intra) the subject only/' "The addition of 
the ' Filioque' clause to the Creed," he continued, " is 
only an explanation of what is said in the Nicseo-Con- 
stantinopolitan Creed, viz., ^ Who proceedeth from' the 
Father.'' In proof, Andrew quoted the words of S. 
Cyril of Alexandria, which, in his opinion, admitted the 
procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son likewise as 
from the Father. But even if such an admission were 
actually contained in S. Cyril's words,^ still it could not 

* S. Cyril says (in Johann. Lib. 9, t. iv. p. 810,) " I will pray theFA- 
THEB, and He shall give you another Comforter. (S. John xiy. 16.) 
The 8as being a partaker of the essential goodness {iryaBay) of GtOD and 
the Fatheb has also the Holy G-host, just in the same manner, as this 
is understood of the Fatheb, — not as an addition or something extra (to 
think BO would be silly and even insane) ; but like each of us, has His 
Spirit in Himself which He brings out from Himself. This is why our 
Sayioub breathed Him forth corporeally, showing by this, that as the 
breathing comes forth from the mouth of a man corporeally, so also is 
the Spirit (rh i^ ain-ov) breathed forth from the Divine essence in a 
manner worthy of Qgd** These words show, (1.) that the Holy Ghost 



prove that the words : '^ and from the Son'' are only an 
explanation of the words — Who proceedeth .... As 
little proof of this idea is contained in S. Basil the 
Great^s words, quoted by Andrew in favour of the Latin 
doctrine, for Andrew concluded firom them, that it was 
impossible to represent the Father without implying 
the Son and the Holy Ghost. ^ 

No better arguments could the Latinized Greek find. 

In defence of his assertion, that the addition of expla" 
natory expressions to the Creed is no where prohibited^ 
Andrew made use of many arguments, which had no 

^th regard to the Son is not aiiTthmg strange to Him, but is essen- 
tially united to Him, being of one and the same essence with TTiTw . 
(2.) that proceeding from the Divine essence. He is poured forth by 
the Son. Not a word, though, is said of His eternal Procession jGrom 
the Son. 

^ S. Basil the Great (Ep. 38, ed. Ghumier) writes : ** He who speaks 
of the Sfisit, speaks of Him as He is in Himself and of Him Whose 
Sfibit He is ; and has the Son also in his thoughts at the same time. 
And he who has received the last-named does not separate the Spirit 
from the Son, but confirms his own Mth in Three, successively as regards 
order, but essentially united into One (Person). He who speaks of the 
Sfibit alone, implies in his confession Him also Whose Sfibit He 
is. And as the * Spirit is Chbist's,* (Bom. viii. 9,) and *is of QoD,' as 
the Apostle says, then, as when a person, taking hold of one end of a 
chain, must as a matter of course pull the other end along with it ; so 
he who attracts the Sfibit, through Him attracts the Pathsb and the 
Son also." It is evident that S. Basil here speaks of the necessity of a 
concrete representation of the Persons of the Holt Tbinity as regards 
their substance, but not in every other case : otherwise it would be ne- 
cessary to attribute the Incarnation, not only to the Second Person of tbs 
Tbinity alone, but to all of the Persons. Thus, S. Basil's words cannot 
be used as a proof of the idea, that if the Holy Ghost proceeds from 
the Fatheb, His procession from the Son is also necessarily implied. 
The same remark stands good with respect to the other words of 8. 
Basil taken by Andrew from his Sermon on Faith. 


reference to the subject discassed; for instance^ he re- 
ferred to S. Paul's words: "though we^ or an angel 
from heaven, preach any other Grospel unto you, than 
that which we have preached unto you, let him be ac^ 
cwrged.^' (Gal. i. 8.) ''And, notwithstanding this/' 
said Andrew, ''many additions were afterwards made to 
the doctrine of S. Paul and other parts of Scripture.'' 
The Fathers of the Nicene Council also added a good 
deal to the Creed of the Apostles ; the Fathers of the 
second (Ecumenical Council, to the Nicene Creed ; the 
Ephesine Fathers again, taught many things not to be 
found in the Creed of the Second (Ecumenical Council. 
Andrew concluded from all this, that the Council's pro- 
hibition only regarded the addition of false opinions to 
the already definite doctrine of the Church, but did not 
extend over the addition of explanatory words and ex- 
pressions. But all this afibrds very little or rather no 
proof of the tnith of Andrew's assertion. Apparently 
his subsequent arguments have more weight, {a) The 
Apostle Paul says : one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one 
God and Father of all (Eph. iv. 5, 6) ; the Church is one, 
and consequently her authority is (always) one. But 
if the Church at different times, in cases of necessity, 
allowed herself to make additions (to the Creed) ; then 
in after times also, she must retain this right. Our 
Sayiouk said: " Lo, I am with you alway, even unto 
the end of the worW (S. Matt, xxviii. 20). (b) The 
Church must necessarily oppose all heresies, whenever 
they arise, by means of her doctrine, and consequently 
she must add at times different explanations to the 
Creed, which might help to secure her members from 
those false doctrines. 



Referring to the Canons^ and the testimonies of the 
Fathers, adduced by Mark of Ephesus, Andrew en- 
deavoured to prove, that the Canon of the Council of 
Ephesus only prohibits the exposition of any other faith 
or doctrine, but those contained in the Nicseo-Constan- 
tinopolitan Creed ; whereas the doctrine on the proces- 
sion of the Holy Ghost from the Son, Andrew repeated, 
is only an explanation of the words contained in the 
Creed itself. In answer to Mark's remark, that the 
very Council of Ephesus would not add the word '' Theo- 
tocos,'' to the Creed ; Andrew said, that there was no ne- 
cessity for such an addition, for the Creed, since it speaks 
of the Son of God, as the true God, and of His incar- 
nation from the Virgin Mary, implies at the same time 
the word " Theotocos/' All the decrees of the Councils 
and Fathers Andrew explained in the same manner as 
the Canon of the Ephesine Council, though many of 
those decrees strictly prohibited any change whatever in 
the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed, either in word or 
syllable (S. Cyril of Alexandria), or else plainly com- 
mand the preservation of the Creed in the very words 
in which it was originally composed. (Pope Agatho.) 

The right of the Church of Rome to make the addition to 
the Creed, Andrew founded: {a) on the testimonies of 
the Fathers, who, as he would have it, taught that the 
Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son ; 
(6) on the circumstances which obliged that Church to 
make the addition, and (c) on the supreme authority and 
power of the Papal throne. 

To prove his first argument, Andrew referred to S. 
Augustine, S. Ambrose, S. Gregory the Great, and S. Hi- 
lary ; but, thinking, that the testimonies of the Greek Fa- 


thers would have more weight with the Greeks^ he made 
some short extracts from Basil the Greats Gregory of 
Nyssa^ Athanasius^ Chrysostom^ Epiphanius^ Anastasias 
the Sinaite^ and Simeon Metaphrastes. All these quo- 
tations^ when explained in their true sense say nothing 
in fact for the Latin doctrine. They either refer to the 
consubstantiality of the Three Persons of the Holy • 
Trinity, or else to the temporary mission of the Spirit 
by the Son of God.^ 

Explaining the circumstances under which the Church 
of Bome was obliged to make this addition to the Creed, 
Andrew said, that the Pope and a Council of Western 
Fathers had determined to include this addition in the 
Creed, as a refutation of the false opinions circulated by 
the Nestorians that the Holy Ghost does not proceed 
from eternity. This happened, Andrew said, before the 
sixth (Ecumenical Council. But history makes no 
mention of any such Council or Council decree. On 
the contrary, it is well known that even in the ninth 
century Pope Leo III. forbade any such addition to the 
Creed, and even had the Nicseo-Constantinopolitan 
Creed engraved on two silver tablets in Greek and Latin 
and without any addition. 

Lastly, to prove the right of the Latin Church or of 
her head, the Pope, to make this addition of explanatory 
expressions, as the Latins called them, Andrew referred 
to S. Cyril of Alexandria, in whose works he purposed to 

^ The question as to whether the Eastern Fathers of the Church ac- 
tuallj admitted the procession of the Holt G-hobt from the Son, was 
examined in the later sittings of this GounciL For this reason we re- 
frain from considering the force of this argument, for in Bessarion*s an- 
swer to Andrew's speech, it was omitted and left until the subsequent 
disputes should take place. 


find very plain allusions to the Pope's authority for doing 
so ; but at the same time Andrew took good care not to 
quote S. Cyril's own expressions. Cardinal Julian in 
his turn referred to Pope Agatho's epistle read in the 
sixth QQcumenical Council^ in which the Pope says^ that 
all orthodox Councils and Church teachers always fol- 
' lowed the doctrine of the Church of Bome^ and that he 
fears being condemned by his Lord Jesus Christ^ were 
he to keep silence on a truths which he was commanded 
to preach to all Christian nations.^ It would not have 
been amiss to have remembered that there were many 
cases when the Church did not conform to the doctrine 
of the Latin Popes^ and that the same Council con- 
demned Pope Honorius.2 

In the following sittings the Greeks gave an answer 
to the objections raised by Andrew of Rhodes and Cardinal 
Julian. The learned Scholarius wrote a refutation of them 
and presented it to the Emperor^ who handed it over 
to Bessarion of Nicsea, ordering him to place it before 
the Council.^ Bessarion first of all showed that the ad' 
dition to the Creed must be looked upon not as an expla" 
nation contained in the Creeds but as an actual addition 
to it^ for the Latins found it on another extraneous prin- 
ciple, such as, e.g., '' all which the Father hath, the 
Son hath also/' 

All such additions to the Creed, even if they were really 
explanations, were strictly forbidden after the Council of 
Ephesus, It is not forbidden to explain the doctrine of 
faith. Before the Council of Ephesus the Church 

1 Binii Goncil. t. iii. pars 1, sec. 1, pp. 27, 28. * Ibid. p. 151. 

^ The sittings were held on the Ist and 4th of l^oyember. Syr. tL 
21. Synod. Flor. pp. 183—216. 


CE!camenical could insert such explanations into the 
Creed. But since the time of the third (Ecumenical 
CSouncil any additions whatever to the Creed were 
strictly forbidden. And this Canon was evidently not 
meant against those additions to the Creeds which dis* 
agreed with it^ for those additions were always^ even 
in former times^ prohibited by the Church. In S. 
Cyril's epistle to Acacius of Mitylene^ Bessarion con- 
tinued^ it is said, " The holy (Ecumenical Council as- 
sembled at Ephesus has prohibited the introduction into 
God's Church of any confession of faith^ but the one 
existing, which was handed down to us by the blessed 
Fathers, through whom the Holy Ghost did speak." ^ 

Thus, the Council prohibits any other composition of 
the confession of faith, and not the exposition of another 
faith ; prohibits this not only as regards private indi- 
viduals, but the whole Church, and even puts itself 
under this very prohibition. The Fathers did not add 
"Theotocos" to the Creed, though the notion ex- 
pressed by this word is nothing more than a short ex- 
planation of the doctrine contained in the Creed, and 
the addition itself was useful and necessary as a refuta- 
tion of the Nestorians. The Councils following also 
did not insert in the Creed those dogmatical definitions, 
which had been drawn up by them, though they also 
served to develop the doctrine contained in the Creed, 
and though the doctrine of the Council on the Two Na- 
tures and Two Wills in Christ would have served as a 
firm bulwark for the orthodox doctrine against the Mo- 
nophysites and Monothelites. On the contrary, we 
see, as far as we can judge from the acts of the (Ecume- 

^ Binii 1. 1, pars 2, Cono. Ephes. par. 3, p. 438. 


nical Councils^ beginning with those of Ephesus^ that 
the holy Fathers of these Councils had received and 
confirmed the Creed in the same form, in which it was 
left to the Church by the two first (Ecumenical Coun- 
cils, nor did they make any change in it. 

At the same time the holy Fathers found means of 
ministering to the wants of the Church, without break- 
ing the decrees of the Council of Ephesus. The Church 
stood in need of new expositions of doctrine in the 
Creed; the Fathers made these expositions in their 
definitions (ogoii) which were not inserted in the Creed, 
but published apart. 

This method of acting does not prove that the autho- 
rity of the Church has in any way been lessened since 
the Council of Ephesus, but rather testifies to her unity. 
Remaining true to the former decrees, the Church shows 
that she had always one and the same will. By these 
means she preserves herself, otherwise she would have 
proved false to her own decrees. Thus, the Church of 
Rome cannot excuse the addition she has made to the 
Creed by any circumstances or authority which she 
has appropriated to herself; for the Council forbids 
any addition to the Creed even in case of necessity. 
And as to the authority of the Church of Rome, Bessa- 
rion added, much could be said about it, but this was 
not the time, nor the place for such discussions; we 
know well enough what rights and privileges the Church 
of Rome has ; we are aware of her power, as well as of 
the limits of her power. How can an individual Church 
arrogate to herself the right of making an addition to 
the Creed when the same right is refused by the Coun-. 
cils even to the Church Catholic? 


The Latin disputants^ on hearing this answer^ sought 
the advice of the Cardinals and Bishops^ which resulted 
in a tedious speech made by Andrew of Rhodes^ and 
one quite irrelevant to the subject discussed.^ 

In the following sitting (Nov. 8)^ in answer to Bes- 
sarion's speech^ — John, Bishop of Forli, repeated the 
arguments already made use of at the Council, backing 
them by his Latin Divines ; he said, that the ^^ Filioque^' 
clause is not an addition of a new article of faith, but a 
simple explanation contained in the expression, ''ex 
Patre," as the Old Testament contains the New, fec.^ 

The Latins at last perceived that the whole weight of 
the Greek arguments consisted in the definition of the 
third (Ecumenical Council. This is why Cardinal Julian, 
who entered into a dispute with the Greeks after John, 
made use of all possible means to explain the prohibi- 
tion made by that Council favourably for his own 
Church. It was made, said Julian, under particular 
circumstances shown in the acts of the Ephesian Coun- 
cil, and was in fact directed against the unorthodox 
creeds. It was thus. A certain Charisius, Priest of 
Philadelphia, came to the Council of Ephesus with a 
complaint against the Lydian Bishops, who had excom- 
municated him for not agreeing to receive the Nestorian 
Creed alone. At the same time, Charisius, to prove 
his orthodoxy, presented his own confession of faith, 
(which, though orthodox, did not correspond exactly 
to the Nicene Creed,) and also the Nestorian Creed. 

1 Synod. Flor. pp. 216, 217 5 Syr. yi. 21. Both the Greek historians 
muinimously agree in this. 

* Synod. Flor. pp. 218 — 242. The end of John's speech is not found 

£ 3 


The Fathers, after having read both these creeds, 
found the Nestorian Creed full of false doctrines, and 
decreed that no one should dare to draw up another 
confession of faith, but the one received by all. Conse- 
quently, said Julian, if the Fathers did not reject Cha- 
risius' creed, as an orthodox one, though diflFering from 
the Nicene Creed, and condemned the Nestorian Creed, 
then the prohibition regarded only unorthodox creeds. 

In answer to Julian, Mark noticed that Charisius' 
confession of faith, though not condemned by the Coun- 
cil by reason of its orthodoxy, was neither received as a 
creed of the (Ecumenical Church, on account of its dif- 
fering from the Nicene Creed, in many expressions. 
.The Fathers found that Charisius^ Creed was only an 
orthodox confession of a private individuals faith. And 
the Church, continued Mark, never forbade any one to 
confess his faith in different expressions, as long as his 
confession was orthodox, and not given out as a ccm* 
fession of faith for the whole Church. It is well known 
that, at many of the subsequent Councils, many of the 
members couched their confession of faith in whatever 
expressions they chose. Thus, the Pope Agatho, and So- 
phronius. Patriarch of Jerusalem, expressed their confes- 
sion of faith in the Epistles read and approved by the 
sixth (Ecumenical Council. The same is to be seen 
from those Synodal Epistles which every newly-ordained 
Bishop sends to the Church representatives in the East 
as a proof of his orthodoxy. This, then, is the reason 
why the Council did not condemn Cbarisius' creed, not- 
withstanding its slight difference from the Nicene Creed. 
But every newly-composed creed, even though orthodox, 
would have been condemned by the Council if it had 


been used instead of the Nicene Creed for the teaching 
of catechumens at their Baptism, or, generally speaking, 
during Church service. And this is easily seen firom 
the circumstance, that the holy Council of Ephesus, 
after condemning the Nestorian Creed, plainly and de- 
cisively prohibited the introduction of any creed, how- 
ever orthodox, different to that of Nicsea; and this 
was done to preserve the Nicene Creed from any in- 
terpolations or changes. In saying this, added Mark, 
I do not judge for myself. S. Cyril explains the 
meaning of the Canon, and he was personally pre- 
sent at the Council. In his Epistles to John of 
Antioch, and Acadus of Mitylene, he explains this de- 
cree of the Council in the same way as it is understood 
by the Eastern Church, and as we ourselves have just 

Julian, objecting to such an explanation of the 
Church Canon, said, that the Council of Ephesus 
makes no difference between the private and general 
Church use of newly-composed creeds; but generally 
prohibits every Christian, whether belonging to the 
laity or clergy, to draw up any other confession of 
fedth : hence Julian concluded again, that the Canon, 
has force only as regards heterodox creeds. In answer to 
this objection, Mark showed that the Nestorian Creed, 
as was proved by Charisius, and could be seen from the 
signatures to it, was used not as a private confession of 
faith, but was offered to certain heretics, who were to 
sign it as a condition of their being received into the 
Church. It was with this object in view that the 
Council prohibited the drawing up of any new creeds — 
especially for general use in the Church. For this rea- 


son it did not condemn Charisins' confession^ which 
was in fact a private one^ though it did not agree in 
many expressions with the Nicene Creed.^ 

The Latins^ however, obstinately repeated their former 
arguments in defence of the addition to the Creedi 
The indefatigable Cardinal tired his auditors with his 
long speeches ; thinking his arguments invincible, he 
said to Mark, '^ If you adduce ten arguments, I for my 
part am ready to oppose ten thousand of them in de- 
fence of my opinion/' And when he noticed that the 
Greeks continued to refute his arguments and proofs, 
he tried to incline them to change the subject of dis- 
cussion. "Let ns, holy Father,^' said he to Mark, 
" examine the very dogma itself, and if the addition to 
the Creed proves to be contrary to the Orthodox doc- 
trine, why, then we will drop the subject and erase it 
from the Creed. If, on the contrary, it shall be proved 
that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, then we 
must conclude that the addition is a correct one, and 
must retain it in the Creed.^'^ 

1 Synod, flor. pp. 242, 297. These disputes took place in the sit- 
tings of the 11th and 16th of N'ovember. They re-commenced on the 
4th and 8th of December (Syn. Flor. pp. 800, 804) ; bnt are not Tery 
minntely described in the History of Syropulus. One of Julian's 
speeches in defence of theFilioque clause was afterwards published 
separately by the Abbot Budesino Andosilla in Florence, 1762. 

« Synod. Flor. pp. 287, 289 ; Syr. vi. 22. 




These two months' discussions were also without any 
real results (firom Oct. 8th till Dec. 8th) : for each party 
stood firm in its own persuasions. The Greeks finding^ 
all their efforts to incline the opposite party to their 
cause unayailable^ wished to return home. The Latins 
however kept repeating, that it was necessary to ex- 
amine the very dogma itself^ and managed first of all 
to gain the Emperor over to their opinion, who readily 
yielded to their persuasions, hoping to ensure the Latin 
aid in the cause of the Empire. 

But when the Emperor told the Bishops, that he also 
wished for an alteration of the discussions, he received 
the following answer : "The very reason why the Latins 
try to make us terminate the discussions on the addition 
is, that they find no suitable and sufficient answer to 
our arguments. It would then be very imprudent to 
forsake so impregnable a fortress/' Gregory the Al- 
moner was the only one who joined the Emperor, and 
was soon promoted by him to the rank of Trpcoroa-vy^ 

The Patriarch sided with the Bishops in this matter. 
Twice did the Bishops assemble in his apartments to 
take advice of each other, and at last determined to 
tell the Pope, that the addition to the Creed inserted 
contrary to the Canons and the testimonies of the 
Fathers, must be withdrawn ; that it was on this con- 

1 Syr. vi 23. 


dition oiily^ that the Greeks would agree to begin the 
inyestigation of the dogma itself^ and that in case of 
the Latins disagreeing to this^ the Greeks would have 
nothing to do with them. At this juncture Bessarion 
of Nicaea declared himself to be quite of a contrary 
opinion. " Why should we not," he said, ^' discuss with 
the Latins on the very dogma? We can tell them 
many good things." But his voice was unheard by the 
rest of the Bishops.^ 

The Greek Council coming to this decision, sent 
legates to the Emperor, who told him : " The Latins 
reject all our most forcible ailments on the question 
of the addition, and most dishonestly affirm that the 
decrees which anathematise every addition to the Creed 
have nothing to do with them. If then we pass on 
to the investigation of a dogma, in which the Latins 
found their arguments on the testimonies of teachers 
unknown to us, how shall we defend the truth? 
Leaning back on the Fope^s authority, they will »ay 
whatever they like, and will then declare that they have 
proved their opinion as plainly as the sun's light : for 
they, contrary to all truth, are not ashamed to say that 
they have already made good the correctness of the ad- 
dition to the Creed, though in reality they have proved 

The Emperor reckoning only on the aid promised to 
him by the Pope, would not pay any attention to what 
the Greeks said. Concealing his real motives, he said : 
*^ The very reason of our coming to Italy was to make 
a strict examination of the doctrine on the procession 
of the Holy Ghost, which has been the principal cause 

\ Syr. Tii 8, 6. 


of the division between the Churches. If we leave the 
question undecided, we shall show that we have no 
strong proofs in defence of the orthodox doctrine, and 
that we either agree with the Latins in some respects, 
or else avow their doctrine to be true. In my opinion, 
we ought most certainly to enter into a discussion on 
the procession of the Holt Ghost.'^ After the remarks 
made by the Emperor, another Bishop, Dorotheus of 
Mitylene, also voted for a change of the subject then 

Beckoning on several similar votes, the Emperor ap- 
pointed another meeting in his palace to talk upon this 
subject. The Patriarch came, ill as he then was ; after 
him came the Bishops. The Emperor pleaded the wants 
of the empire, and his own efforts to better its condi- 
tion. " I have no children,^' he said, " no heirs ; I seek 
not glory, but only the welfare of my Greek subjects.^' 
Isidore and Bessarion took his part very warmly. It was 
determined to decide the matter by votes. The Patri- 
arch kept to his own opinion. The Bishops, persuaded 
by the Emperor's words, inclined to his opinion also. 
Mark of Ephesus simply said : '^ As you find it good to 
pass on to the discussion of the dogma itself, I can but 
<K)nsent if the others wish it.'' The Chartophylax, the 
Protecdicus, and Syropulus, were the only persons among 
the Patriarch's nearer officials who divided his opinion. 
But, notwithstanding this, the majority of votes car- 
ried the opinion, that a discussion on the very doctrine 
contained in the addition to the Creed should be entered 

One obstacle alone remained to be done away with. 

I Syr. yii 6, 7. ' Synod. Flor. p. 806, 307 5 Syr. yii 9—11. 


The Pope refused to pay the expenses incurred by the 
Greeks during their stay in Ferrara^ under the plea that 
he had been deceived by the town's people, and could 
not receive the income due to him from his own towns, 
on account of their distance &om Ferrara and the dif- 
ferent circumstances of war. He then proposed to 
move the Council to another place, the more so as it 
was generally expected that the plague would again 
break out in Ferrara. He pointed to Florence,^ whose 
rich citizens had promised to lend him 40,000 gold 
pieces, if only the Council was held in their town. 
When making this proposition, the Pope on his part 
promised the Greeks 12,000 gold pieces besides their 
usual pay, and two galleys to succour Constantinople, 
and at the same time expressed his hopes of finishing 
all the affairs in the course of three or fL months. 

The Emperor was long ago aware of the Pope's in- 
tention to transfer the Council to Florence, and had 
twice sent several persons thither to arrange the matter ;' 
but hid his intentions from the Bishops. But when his 
last agent returned, he then opened the Pope's plan to 
the Greek Council, noticing that, if the Greeks con- 
sented to go over to Florence, they would be sure to 
receive the salary due to them for the last five months. 
At first, the Greeks were quite against this journey^ fear- 

^ At that time Cosmo Medici was at the head of the Florentine Be- 
public, — a man well known for his riches and love of science. The 
Pope opened negotiations with Elorence, through a Florentine Abbat, 
the learned Ambrose Trayersari, a protegl of Medici's, and high in the 
Pope's &vour. Syr. "ni. 1. 

' The Emperor first sent the Hieromonach Macarius to Florence, 
under the pretext that he wanted him to procure some valuable manu- 
scripts there, and then John Disypatos, (yiL U.) 


itkg that the Pope would behave still more independently 
with them in Florence^ than he had done before. 

" We will not quit Ferrara/' they said ; " and why 
should we ? Why can matters be arranged better in 
Florence than here ? If the Florentines wish to help 
the Pope, then let them send out their promised help 
to this town/' '' But the Florentines do not agree to 
this/' was the Emperor's answer : " they ask the Pope to 
transfer the Council to their town, and promise to lend 
him a good sum of money if he does. There you will 
be paid not by the Pope, but by the bank, and that too, 
at any time you like. You are aware," the Emperor 
continued, '' that now we must choose one of the two : 
we must either go to Florence, or else to Constanti- 
nople; for the Pope cannot and will not continue the 
Council here. You would rather return home ? But 
will it*be prudent to leave affairs undone ? Think only, 
how and on whose account we are to return to Constan- 
tinople. Where are our means for the journey ? And 
who will aid our poor empire if we anger the Pope by 
our obstinacy?" 

The want of means for the homeward journey, and 
the Pope's refusal to pay the salary due for the last four 
months, did more than all the Emperor's arguments to 
persuade the Greeks to obey the Pope and consent to 
go to Florence. They only demanded that the Pope 
should fulfil the promises made to them. The Emperor 
stood surety, that the Pope would not deceive them.^ 

Another circumstance also troubled the Greeks a 
good deal. The Patriarch, when ordering the Bishops 

1 Syr. Tii. 12 ; Syn. Flor. 308—816. The last assembly was held on 
the 2nd of January, 1489. 


to get ready for the journey^ told one of them to send 
on all extra luggage to Venice^ and only take what was 
necessary^ i.e.^ the vestments^ as the union of Churches 
would take place in Florence. This so troubled the 
Bishops^ who could see nothing in the past to ensure a 
good peace in the future, that the Emperor found it 
necessary to assemble them in the Fatriarch^s cell and 
quiet their suspicions. ^^I do not know^^^ he said to 
them^ ^'whether or not the union will take place; but, 
to say the truth, I expect it, and advise all to wish 
for it. Only I cannot make out, what reason the Fa- 
triarch has for affirming this so unconditionally. No 
Greek or Latin could have told him this, because no 
one knows anything of the future results of the Council 
of Florence. Was it revealed by God to him ? At all 
events, let not his words trouble you : nothing is known 
as yet.^^ After such an explanation, Mark began asking 
the Emperor to collect the opinions of the Bishops on the 
dogma, which was about to be investigated in Florence. 
'^ If all will agree, I am ready to begin the struggle in 
defence of orthodoxy. If not, I shall sit down with 
those who always keep silence in the Council.^' But 
this straightforward declaration of the most energetic 
defender of orthodoxy, so angered those whose con- 
sciences were not so very clear, that one of them, Gre- 
gory the almoner, turning to the Emperor said : '^ Your 
Majesty ! did you appoint him head of the Council ? If 
so, tell us, so that we might all obey him.^' Bessarion 
of Nicsea was just as discontented with Mark^s words. 
The Emperor himself covered the poor old man with 
reproaches.^ The very first sitting of the Council in 

* Syr. viL 14. 


Florence showed^ that the Emperor had ahready pro- 
mised the Pope to find out some secret means of coming 
to an agreement. This serves to explain the Patriarch^s 
words^ and the reason of the Emperor's discontent with 
Mark's proposal. 

On the 10th of January, 1439, the Papal bull pro- 
claiming the removal of the Council to Florence, was 
read in the Cathedral of Ferrara. The plague was 
mentioned as the cause of its removal; — the plague, 
which notwithstanding the winter time was then so 
violent in the town, and promised to be still worse to- 
wards the spring. But, in reality, two months had 
passed since the plague ceased.^ 

The Greeks were paid the money due to them for the 
last four months, and two florins each besides to pay the 
expenses of their journey. Nineteen thousand florins 
were sent to Constantinople. The Pope left the town 
with great pomp; but afterwards, fearing an attack 
from his ill-wishers, continued his journey with a very 
small retinue, and in the dress of a plain monk. Mea- 
sures were taken by the Emperor, that none of the 
Greeks should slip away and return beforehand to Con- 
stantinople. On the 7th of February, the Pope, Bishops, 
and the rest of the clergy made a triumphal entry into 
Florence : soon after (15th February) the Emperor ar- 

After a short rest, the sessions recommenced (26th 
February). In the first sitting Cardinal Julian reminded 
the Emperor of his promise to appoint a committee out of 

1 Vide Synod. Flor. p. 316. Syropulus says, that the plague had 
ceased. Syr. yii. 14. 

2 Syr. viL 15 j Syn. Flor. 315—320. 


several members on both sides^ to inquire into the means 
of making peace between the Churches^ and asked him 
whether he had any such means in view^ and if he had^ 
to make them the subject of a public discussion. The 
Emperor answered him very ill-humouredly, that it 
was of no use talking about this ; that there was no need 
of the Greeks alone discussing this subject ; that they 
had decided to do so together with the Latins. At the 
same time he reminded Cardinal Julian, that the dis- 
putes on the addition to the Creed had not yet been 
finished; that all the Latin arguments had not per- 
suaded the Greeks on the justice of the addition, and that 
the Greeks retained the right of re-commencing those 
discussions whenever they liked. The Emperor, how- 
ever, at last consented to think about the means for a 
reconciliation. At the end of the sitting, he assembled 
all the Bishops in the Fatriarch^s cell, and proposed 
that they should discuss upon the means of reconciling 
the Churches. None made any answer to his pro- 
posal, and the only thing determined upon was, that 
eight persons from among the Council members should 
be appointed to enter into a private conference with 
the Latins on this subject. But this decision was not 
acted upon, for the Pope expecting greater concessions 
on the part of the Greeks, demanded that a public dis- 
cussion on this subject should take place.^ 

In the following sitting (March 2) the Latin doctrine 
on the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son was ex- 
amined. The right of proposing questions, which at 
Perrara belonged to the Greeks, was here conceded by 
the Emperor to the Latins. Mark of Ephesus was 

» Synod. Flop. p. 322—340 j Syr. viii. 1, 


nearly the only person to keep up the discussions on 
the part of the Greeks; Bessarion spoke later^ when the 
means of reconciliation were being discussed. Mark 
met a skilful opponent in John de Monte Nigro, a Do- 
minican provincial^ famed for his dialectical skill. 

John commenced by saying that all his arguments 
and reasonings would be founded on the authority of 
the Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers ; but in re- 
ality made use not of the Holy Scripture, but of differ- 
ent doubtful and spurious quotations from the Fathers, 
with which he had acquainted himself by means of very 
inferior translations; besides this, his very speeches 
were nothing but a display of scholastical reasoning. 
Instead of explaining the words of the Holy Fathers 
conformably to their own writings, he made use of 
various scholastical arguments to define the sense of the 
words contained in the different quotations from the 

Having stated his opinion, that the verb to proceed 
means to receive existence (XaftjSavsiv to slvai), John quoted 
two places from the works of S. Epiphanius, in which 
he tried to find a proof of the procession of the Holy 
Ohost not only from the Father, but also from the 
Son. Both places are quoted, as they are to be found 
in the Latin version of Ambrosius Traversari, whose 
translations in general were not famed for anything 
like correctness.^ The first place read as follows: 
" The Father names Him — the Son, Who is from Him — 

^ See Oudin's Comment, de Scriptor. Ecclesiasticis. t. ilL in his 
treatise ; Ambrouus Camaldulensis, p. 2434. Hallam, in his History 
of European Literature, notices the incorrectness of his versions. Pt. 
L pp. 79, 80. 



and the Holy Ghost — Him, Who is from both (S /u/vov h^ 
eifi^olv Io-t/v).^ The other quotations read as follows: 
As no one has seen the Father (edpaxev) except the Son^ 
nor the Son except the Father ; so^ also^ I dare to say^ 
no one has seen the Holy Ghost except the Father 
and Son, from Whom He proceedeth, and from Whom 
He receivethj — nor the Son and the Father, except 
the Holy Ghost, Who of a truth glorifies and teaches 
all things; Who is of the Father and the Son (Srcf 
ear) vapoi row IlaTpog xa) Tfou).^ Finding, in the first 
place, is from Both; and in the second, is from the 
Son, John concluded that according to the doctrine of 

^ In the edition of the works of S. Epiphanius, by the Jesuit Feta- 
vius, this place reads as follows : rhy Tthv icaA.6< rhy i^ cArov' rh Bh "kywv 
Tly&ifjia rh Tap* iifJuf>oT4po»yf & fjiSyoy iriaret yo o6fjL€ya ivh r&y ayiwy, 0pp. 
S. Epiph. Ancoratus. t. ii. p. 75. 

3 In the same edition this place is read in full, as foUows : €{ roiruy 
vapii rod Tlarphs 4ieirop€6cTait K<d 4k rod 4fiov, ^al 6 K^pios, A^croi. 
ty yhp rpoicoy ovScU tyvto rhy Tiaripa ei fx^ 6 Tlhsy oitSl rhy *]Cihy €/ fij^ 6 
Tlar^pf oUrw roXfiu \4yeiy, $ri obdl rh TlytvfAa €t fi^ 6 Uariip koX 6 tlhs. 
Trap* ol iieropeitrai ical rap* o5 Xofifidyei^ Kot od8i rhy Tlhy K(d rhy Ttar^pa 
€l M^ rh TlyfvfjLa rh^Ayioy, rh Zo^diov iLKri0&Sf rh MdffKoy ri irdrrOf rh 
ftaprvpovy irtpi rod Tiou, t iraph, rov Uarphs icol 4k rod Vlov. Ibid. p. 78. 
Considering these words in their full meaning, one sees that the addition 
of the verb t» in the last words (Who is from the Fatheb and the Son) 
is quite out of place, and what sense these words contain. S. Epipha- 
nius all along makes use of the words of Scripture, or else speaks on 
its authority. He said at first, proceeds from the Father (irapbk Tlarphs 
4KTop€6^ai) and evidently implies the same in the end by the words. 
Who from the Father (ft vaph narp6s). Having again first said. He 
shall receive from Mine^ saith the Lord (4k rod ifwv X^ctoi), he ex- 
presses the same in the end, saying, Kot 4k rod rtod. Otherwise it is 
impossible to explain the reason of his using different prepositions vapd 
and 4k, if he only wished to express the idea of procession. Evidently 
he borrowed these prepositions from the Gospel text, which must con- 
sequently serve to define the sense of the words. 


S. Epiphanius^ the Holt Ghost proceeds from the Son 

Mark of Ephesus^ without referring to the Greek text 
of Epiphanius^ exposed the erroneousness of John^s 
conclusion. He said that the words quoted do not ne- 
cessarily lead to the conclusion that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds from the Son. The expression^ to be from any 
one (to ix rivog ehai)^ does not necessarily imply, joroce^A 
from any one ; it is used in different senses. S. Epipha- 
nius does not say, receives existence ; but only receives, 
and says this on the authority of the Lord^s words ; he 
shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you (S. John 
xvi. 14). K S. Epiphanius meant that the Holt 
Ghost receives His being from the Son, he would 
have said, No one knoweth the Father and the Son 
save the Holy Ghost, from Whom (plural n.) He 
proceeds and from Whom (pi.) He receives; and then 
the words proceeds and receives would be of equal weight. 
But Epiphanius, by repeating the pronoun from Whom 
(sing.) and placing the conjunction and between the two 
words, shows that he gives one meaning to the word 
proceeds, and another to receives. The verb, proceeds, is 
intended by him to show that the Holt Ghost receives 
EQs being from the Father ; and the verb, receives, to 
signify that the Holt Ghost, being of one essence 
and substance with the Son, propounds to the faithful 
a doctrine agreeable to that of Christ Himself. This 
explanation of our Lord^s words, ^^ He shall receive of 
Mine,'^ Mark confirmed by quoting the explanation of 
S. John Chrysostom (on S. John, Hom. 78) and that of 
S. Cyril of Alexandria (Thesaurus, c. 14) . 

The book of S. Epiphanius was next brought under 


notice. Mark showed at the very beginning that this 
book had been long since interpolated^ and that the first 
passage must be read^ is known of Both (icap^ ajx^oTv 
yoeiTai), but without the verb ^^is,^' It is not known 
what reading was found in the copy employed by 
the Council; but it is certain that in both cases the 
verb is was not to be found, a verb on which John 
founded his principal argument. 

John, though he avowed that his mistake arose from 
an incorrect version of Traversari,i still continued to 
afiSrm that the verb is must be implied in the texts 
quoted^ and on this supposition repeated that S. Epipha- 
nius had an idea of the procession of the Holy Ghost 
from the Son also. But even if we were to imply the 
wanting verb here, we still should have no reason to 
conclude that S. Epiphanius speaks of the Holy Ghost^s 
procession from the Father and the Son. His words 
may express the unity of substance in the Persons of 
the Holy Trinity. Thus, several teachers say that 
the Holy Ghost is from the Father and Son, and 
from Their Substance, for He is consubstantial with 
the Father and Son.^ 

To ward off his opponent's attack, Mark, on his part, 
quoted the words of S. Basil the Great, in which he 

» Syn. Mor. p. 470. 

3 An explanation of these passages from S. Epiphanius* works, and 
remarks on their being interpolated in the later Latin versions, can be 
found in ZoemikoflTs work j Tractatus Theolog. pp. 814, 318. In order 
to understand Mark's words rightly, we must bear in view that the pre- 
positionyrom, in theological language, sometimes expresses not procession, 
but only a similitude or reception of attributes and nature, as for in- 
stance in the following words of our Lord : Ye are of this worlds I am 
not of this world, S. John viii. 23. 


plainly says that the Holt Ghost proceeds from the 
Father^ and not elsewhere. This is what S. Basil 
writes in his fifth book against Eunomius : ^^ God gives 
birth not like man^ but truly gives birth j He from 
Himself manifests a birth — the Word^ not a human 
word, but shows this Word to be truly from Himself. 
He produces the Spirit by His mouth not like man, for 
God's mouth is not corporeal, but the Spirit is from Him 
and not from aught else.^'^ Receiving John's assent, that 
the birth of the Son as well as the procession of the 
Holy Ghost belong to the Person of the Father, and 
not to His Substance which is one and the same with 
the Substance of the Son and Holy Ghost, Mark made 
the following conclusion from S. Basil's words : ^' If 
the Spirit proceeds from the Person of the Father, 
then the expression, not elsewhere^ shows that He does 
not proceed from another Person." But, in the subse- 
quent disputes on this passage, the opponents passed 
over to the most minute questions on the relation of 
the Son and Holy Ghost to the Person and Substance 
of the Father, as also on the relation of the Person to 
the Substance in the Divine Godhead — questions which, 
far from shedding new light on the disputed subject, 
only afforded new motives for discussion. Mark of 
Ephesus kept strictly to the expressions and definitions 
of the Greek theologians : John found his defence in 
the subtle reasonings of his scholastic teachers.^ 

1 See the Eussian" Works of the Holy Fathers." Year 4, bk. i. p. 199. 
See also Zoemikof^ p. 26. 

2 Synod. Flor. pp. 341 — 375. We do not here make mention of 
these disputes, which had very Httle to do with the object in view — ^that 
of exfunining tiie doctrine of the ancient Fathers of the Church on the 



The third sitting (March 5) proved to be as unfruitfiil 
as the former ones. Not a single fresh passage from 
the works of the Fathers or the Holy Scriptures was 
taken into consideration.^ 

In the three following sittings (7th, 10th, and 14th 
of March) one passage from the third book of S. Basil 
the Great against Eunomius was principally discussed, 
a passage more than once alluded to by John in his 
dispute with the Greeks. In the copy presented by 
John this place read as follows : ^^ If the Holy Spieit 
is third in dignity and order, then why must He be ne- 
cessarily third in Substance also ? That He is second 
after the Son in dignity, of Him receiveth and an- 
nounceth to us, this is told us by the doctrine of faith ; 
but that He is third in Substance is not told us by 
Scripture, and cannot be strictly concluded from what 
was mentioned above.^' 

This passage is taken from S. Basil,'^ said Mark, 

and is also spoilt in our MSS. as well as in yours; in 
Constantinople there are four or five codices in which it 
is read in the same manner ; but a thousand of such 

Procession of the Holt Ghost — disputes which little explain the doc- 
trine, even in the form it was laid down by the scholastic divines of the 
Middle Ages, and thus hardly show at all how their reasonings were 
looked upon by the Orthodox teachers of the Eastern Church. Instead 
of this, we will here point to the separate work of Mark of Ephesus, en- 
titled, vfpi rod iKTTopevaeas rov ^Aylov Uyeifiaros, avWoyiariKh ice^xiAata, 
pubUshed in Ghreek, together with the Greek translation of Zoemikoff's 
work, t. xi. pp. 709 — 741. Here, in fifty-seven chapters, the learned 
Pastor of Ephesus uses the same dialectical weapons as the Latins 
generally used, against Thomas Aquinas and others. We also find here 
some more definite answers to John's reasonings, though he is not 
mentioned by name. 
* Synod. Flor. pp. 375—406. 



copies can be found in which neither the meaning nor 
the words of the Holy Fathers are changed. Very 
likely this passage was purposely spoiled/' continued 
Mark^ " by some defender of your doctrine/'^ But John 
tried to prove this copy to be a genuine one, by saying 
that it bore no symptoms of being corrupted, that it was 
lately brought from Constantinople, written on parch- 
ment, very likely six hundred years old; and, conse- 
quently, before the division of Churches took place. 
This however was only a supposition. Mark's copy was 
also a very old one. The disputed passage read in it as 
follows : '^ If the Holy Ghost is third in dignity and 
order, then why must He be necessarily third also 
in Substance? That the Spirit in dignity occupies 
the second place after the Son, this, may be, is taught 
by the doctrine of faith ; but, that He is also third in 
Substance, is not taught by the Holy Scriptures, and 
cannot be well concluded from what is mentioned 

^ Afterwards another copy of the words of S. Basil against Eunomius 
was presented to the Council, where this passage also remained in its 
corrupted form. Mark, on looking over this copy, found that it was 
written hy the same hand as the first. Synod. Flor. p. 414. 

' Works of the Holy Fathers, year 4, bk. i. p. 127. This passage 
stands as quoted by Mark in the different edition^ of S. Basil's works : 
Pto. 1618, t. ii. p. 78 ; Venet. 1536, fol. 87 ; BasiUsB, 1651, p. 676 ; 
1566, p. 139; 1666, p. 339; Paris, 1566, p. 218. Vide Zoemikoff, 
p. 219, et seq. The same reading is to be found in the Benedictine 
edition, reckoned the best. Paris, 1730 : 1839. The learned editor re- 
marks besides, that, out of the seven copies used by him, only one 
contained the reading defended by John at the Council of Florence. 
In the manuscript of the Moscow Synodal Library, (in Matthia's 
catalogue, No. 28, cent, xi.) this passage reads the same as the text 
of Mark of Ephesus. (Works of the Holy Fathers, year iv. book 

F 2 


Mark^ coupling this passage with the above-mentioned 
doctrine of S. Basils proved very clearly that the reading 
defended by the Latins was not the genuine reading of 
that passage. He pointed to the preceding words of S. 
Basils which stood alike in both copies. S. Basils re- 
futing Eunomius^ notices: ^^Eunomius says^ that he 
has been told by the Saints^ that the Holy Ghost is 
third in order and dignity^ and himself believes that he 
is third in Substance also. But he cannot say what 
Saints propounded this doctrine, and in what words. 
Has there ever been so bold a man as he to introduce 
such novelties into the Divine dogmas?'^ One sees 
from these words, continued Mark, that S. Basil does 
not admit that the Fathers call the Holy Ghost third 
in dignity, and plainly refuses to admit of His being 
third in Substance. Since, then, S. Basil does not 
admit that the Holy Ghost is second in dignity after 
the Son, why should he affirm a notion he himself 

i. p. 129, and notes.) The corrupted reading is for the first time 
found in the Latin work of Hugo Eterianus against the Ghreeks, in the 
middle of the twelfth century ; the same is alluded to by Bessarion, as 
is seen from the Greek version of this work (Allat. de consens. Ecdes. 
p. 654) ; and also from its later edition (in Maximal Biblioth. Fatrum, 
t. xxii. p. 1176). But Nicetas, Metropolitan of Thessalonica, who in the 
same century wrote a refutation of Eterianus, though he himself also 
taught wrongly on the Procession of the Holy Ghost, stiU quotes Basil's 
words in their genuine sense. This is testified to by Nilus GaTasilas in 
his book against the Latin doctrine of the Procession of the Holt 
G-HOST (See Allatius de Nilis : irepl rov 'Ayiou Ilvf d/toros \^05 Aarlifww, 
Eabr. Bibl. Gr. ed. yet. ad calcem, t. y. p. 65.) Lastly, Gennadius 
Scholarius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the fifteenth century, also 
points to the correct reading of this passage in the work of Nicetas of 
Thessalonica (Works of the Holy Fathers, year iy. bk. L p. 132, and 


refuses to admit ; that is, why should he quote words 
which form the addition in the Latin reading ? 

John, admitting^ together with Eunomius^ that the 
Holy Ghost is second in dignity after the Son, affirmed 
that this was S. Basil^s opinion ako^ and defended his 
own reading by saying — (a) that the Fourth (Ecume- 
nical Council calls the doctrine of S. Basil firm and 
positive, whereas the reading, "may be, is told us by 
the doctrine of faith,^' admits of some uncertainty ; (|3) 
that, further on, S. Basil, to confirm his notion, that 
one must not argue from the difference in dignity to 
a difference in nature, points to the example of the 
angels. If we are to admit what is here said about the 
angels unconditionally, then in the same way must we 
admit S. Basil^s words on the Holy Ghost ; i. e., that 
he, not consenting to admit a difference between His 
substance and that of God^s Son, at the same time 
admits a difference in their dignity. To this Mark very 
justly replied, that to admit a contrary idea on a sup- 
position, only to refute it on its being admitted, does 
not show any signs of uncertainty. In this sense 
S. Basil says, " That the Holy Ghost in dignity occu- 
pies the second place afber the Son, this, may be, is 
told us by the doctrine of faith.^' Farther on, the re- 
ference to the example of the angels only confirms an 
idea admitted by S. Basil on a supposition ; and thus 
the force of his argument is in no way weakened. 

To prove that the idea included in the supplementary 
Latin reading on the procession of the Holy Ghost 
from the Son is quite strange to S. Basil, Mark re- 
ferred to the Father's own words in his epistle to his 
brother Gregory of Nyssa: ^^ Everything good, given 


to US by GoD^s power, we call an act of the all-acting 
grace; as the Apostle says, ^ But all these worketh that 
one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man 
severally as He will/ (1 Cor. xii. 11.) But we will 
ask, Is it £rom the Holy Ghost alone that the distri- 
bution of gifts to those worthy of them takes its origin ? 
The Scriptures teach us to believe that the original Au- 
thor of the distribution of gifts, which act in us by the 
Holy GHosT,is the Only-begotten God; for the Scripture 
tells us that ' all things were made by Him,^ (S. John i. 3,) 
and ^by Him all things consist/ (Col. i. 17.)^' A little 
lower S. Basil continues, "Thus, whereas the Holy 
Ghost, from Whom all good giffcs are distributed among 
created beings, depends upon the Son, with Whom He 
is inseparably received, and has His existence from the 
Father, as from the Cause from which He proceeds, 
then in this He has a distinguishing attribute of His 
difference in Person, namely, that He is known by the 
Son and with Him, and is from the Father.^' 

Notwithstanding the plainness with which these words 
proved the eternal procession of the Holy Ghost from 
God the Father, and His dependence on the Son 
only as regards the distribution of gift» to His crea- 
tures, still Johuy purposely playing on the word rfc- 
pendsy gave it a sense of procession by existence ; and 
coupling to these words of S. Basil what was also said 
by him to Eunomius, made out the following syllo- 
gism : — " The Son is the Principle, as He is G^d from 
God ; in what relation the Son stands to the Father, 
and depends on Him, in the same relation stands the 
Holy Ghost to the Son, and depends on Him. This 
is why the Son is called second in order and dignity. 


and the Holt Ghost third. This order is the order of 
their procession/^ All this reasoning has no founda- 
tion whatever in the real words of S. Basil. "The 
sense of the verb depends/' said Mark to his opponent^ 
" is defined by the nearest words^ is inseparably received 
with Him. And with regard to the expressions^ third in 
order and dignity, they are not affirmed by S. Basils who 
only says that Eunomius maintains such an opinion. It 
is necessary^ however/' continued Mark, " that the Per- 
sons of the Trinity exist in some order between them- 
selves. The only Son, Who shines forth after the fashion 
of the Only-Begotten, from the uncreated Light, must 
be placed after that very Light; and therefore the Holy 
Ghost must be reckoned third, in order that He should 
not be taken for the Son, when not distinguished from 
Him in order.'^^ Such also is S. Basil's opinion; other- 
wise, if he had placed the Spirit in the same relation 
to the Son as the Son is to the Father, then he would 
not have accused Eunomius as a bold innovator for 
having called the Spirit third in order and dignity. 

Wishing to prove that S. Basil could not have re- 
futed the idea of the Holy Ghost's procession from the 
Son as a new idea, John quoted the words of S. Atha- 
nasius the Great in his dialogue with Arius at the 
Nicene Council, and in his epistle to Serapion. In the 
first place, according to John's reading, it is said, ^' If 
the Holy Ghost is not from the Substance of the Fa- 
ther and the Son, then how is it that the Son places 

* "'EoTt ix\v iufdyicri Kal icori t\ r^raxOai rh 0€to TlpSo'onra, Tibs fi6vos 
fwvoycv&s 4k rod kyewftrov (parbs iK\<i^^cts, fJLfr* ainhv 6<f>€t\u &piOfi€7a'' 
dcUf Ktd Kark rovro rplrov otpclXet h^idfk^ladtu rh UvfVfiA rh "Aryiov %va fi^ 
irapcBToirrofJLey rod TioD, 80^27 Koi airrh Ytbs elvai. Synod. Flor. 430. 


His Name in the tradition of sanctification (i. e., in the 
commandment of sanctification or baptism)^ where He 
says. Go ye therefore and teach aU nations, baptizing 
them in the Name of the Father^ and of the Son^ and 
of the Holy Ghost/^^ In the last-mentioned place^ it 
is said, ^^ The Spirit receives of the Son, according to 
the LoRD^s words, ^ He shall receive of Mine, and shall 
give it unto you/ " Of the Son it is said, ^' I am come 
in My Pather^s Name,'^ (S. John v. 43) ; and of the 
Spirit, ^^The Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will 
send in My Name/' (xiv. 16.) 

If then the Spirit, compared with the Son^ has 
the same order and nature (ro^iv xa) ^6civ) as the Son 
has, compared with the Father, he who calls the 
Spirit a creature will of necessity think the same of 
the Son.2 But Mark very justly remarked, in answ^ 
to the first premiss, that '^we also confess that the 
Holy Ghost is third in order in the Divine Trinity; 
but for Him to be third in dignity also — it is really as- 
tonishing how you make out that things have been said 
which have never been mentioned anywhere V' With 
regard to the second place, Mark said, " S. Athanasius 
wrote this against the Pneumatomachi, who placed the 
Holy Ghost lower than the Son, and called Him a 
creature. Wishing to prove that the Holy Ghost is of 
equal honour and consubstantial with the Father and 

> S. Athanasius, 0pp. Ed. Montfaucon, t. iii. pp. 206 — 230. In the 
works of S. Athanasius, we read, not 4k rrjs olfflas rod Tlarpbs Ktd rod 
Ttow, but, 64 ob iffri T^s rov Tlarpbs koX rod Tlov ohffias, " if not of one 
substance with the Fatheb and Son." This work, thdugh, is regarded 
as not belonging to Athanasius. 

* This place is more ftdly explained in ZoemikofTs work, pp. 759 — 


SoN^ S. Atlianasius shows that the Holt Ghost in 
Scripture is placed in equal order with the Father and 
SoN^ and has the same will and action. The teachers 
of the Church always used this argument to prove the 
unity of nature of one Person with the other. If S, 
Athanasius had reasoned as you do^ then why did he 
not say^ The Son has existence from the Father^ and 
the Holy Ghost from the Son ; or, the Father gives 
birth to the Son, and the Son brings forth the Spirit ? 
But he only compares their works in the economy of 
man's salvation/^ To conclude, Mark mentioned the 
very words of S. Athanasius, in which he calls God the 
Father the only source of Divinity.^ 

John tried to defend his opinion by the words of S. 
Basil, taken from his homily on the Holy Baptism : 
"We must confess one Father, one Son, one Spirit : 
not two Fathers, nor two Sons, for the Spirit is not 
the Son, neither is He called so ; and from the Spirit 
we do not receive any one, as we do (receive) the Spirit 
from the SoN."^ This is the real sense of these words, 
received by Mark of Ephesus. But John translated 
and explained the last words quite in a different man- 
ner.3 This dispute is remarkable for having given the 

^ In the homily on the consubstantiality of the Son and the Holy 
Ghost with the Fatheb, agamst the Sabelliaus. 0pp. S. Athanas. Ed. 
Mont&uc. t. iii pp. 37, 48. The editor finds a very striking affinity 
between this homily and a sermon of S. Basil's, also against the Sabel- 
lians, (Ed. Gamier, Hom. xxiv.,) and for this reason places it among 
the doubtful works of S. Athanasius. 

s This sermon also is thought not to belong to S. BasiL 

' The Chreek words are, ohtk yhip &ir^ rov TlveAfxaros rivh Kofifidvofiey, 
Koff %v fp^oy inrh rod Tlov TlpevfM^ John translated these words thus : 

We do not receive from the Spibit, as the Spibit from the Soir." In 

F 3 



Latin scholastics an opportunity of introducing a ques- 
tion on spiritual gifts, viz., whether they were to be 
looked upon as created or not ? 

This question, besides having very little to do with the 
principal subject of the dispute, and the explanation of 
the passage taken from the homily attributed to S. Basil, 
afforded very little advantage to Mark in its decision, 
and rather lengthened the controversy than otherwise, 
Mark knew very weU how many disputes originated 
from this question in the middle of the fourteenth 
century in the Church of Constantinople, during the 
discussions on the Divine Substance and actions, on the 
creation or non-creation of spiritual gifts. Even to- 
wards the end of the private sessions in Ferrara, when 
the bliss of the righteous was the subject of discussion, 
this question was also proposed. Mark at that time 
even declined to give any answer; for, says Syropulus, 
the Emperor had settled and ordered beforehand that 

answer to thia translation Mark said, very justly, that (a) it is not 
said, \(mfidif€L rh Tlvevfia, but simply, Ka6^ hv rpSrov iach rov Xlov Tivtv- 
IM ; consequently, the verb remains the same, Kafxfidyofifi/ : (jS) that 
this translation, by its very meaning, does not answer the purpose of 
the preacher, who proves that there is one Fathee, one Son, and 
one Holt Ghost. The first no one doubts ; the second is proved by 
this, that the Spirit, though proceeding from the Fatheb, is not the 
Son, and is called the Holt Ghost j the third by this, that we do not 
receive any one from the Spieit, like we receive from the Son the Holy 
Ghost, with His Divine gifts. The very order of the words requires 
such an explanation to be given. The Latin translator, on the contrary, 
introduced a perfectly strange idea, which had no real relation to the 
foregoing ideas. John, in the meantime, gave these words such a mean- 
ing as this : the Spibit receives the Divine nature fi^m the Son, and 
we, the gifts of gra<;e. The first is not created, said John ; the second 
are created. 

CREATION OF hfipyeion. 107 

no one should dare to answer these questions.^ And 
now Mark again^ notwithstanding his opponent thrice 
asked him for an answer^ kept silence. And this silence 
of his^ for an impartial judge^ was better than the thou- 
sand fine speeches which he could have made if he liked^ 
on a subject not new to him^ and one which of course he 
had well studied from the works of his divines. He could 
foresee what explanation would be given to his resolution ; 
but^ not wishing to give occasion for new disputes^ kept 
silent. The Emperor^ understanding what a sacrifice 
Mark was making for the general peace^ took his part^ 
and twice noticed to the interrogator that his question 
did not pertain to the subject discussed^ and that the 
Greeks had not come to answer such questions. ^ 

The disputes then continued with regard to other 
passages taken from the Fathers. But this sitting of 
the assembly^ the sixth in Florence^ was the last of those 
in which both sides took part in the controversy. By 
the time of the following sitting, the Emperor, weary 
with the tediousness with which affairs were carried on, 
commissioned Mark to prepare an exposition of the 
principal foundations of the Orthodox doctrine on the 
disputed subject.* 

Thus, in the following sitting, (March 17,) Mark 
spoke before the Coimcil ; and, adducing one by one 
the passages of the Gospel and Apostles, the decrees of 

•1 Syr. V. 18. 

s Mark was often unjustly blamed for his silence on this occasion by 
the Pope and others ; e.g., by Joseph Metho, in his objections to Mark's 
epistle. We shall see further on, that the G^reeks would not discuss 
this subject, even when they had agreed to an union with Eome. 

' Syr. Tiii 1. 


the Councils, and the testimonies of the Fathers till the 
Third (Ecumenical Council, showed how the authority 
of Scripture and the doctrine of the ancient Church 
confirm the dogma confessed in aU its purity by the 
Orthodox Eastern Church, and refute the newly in- 
vented doctrine of the Church of Rome. Here is an 
extract from his speech : — 

"First of all, God the Word Himself, the First 
Divine and Teacher of Divines, in His last discourse 
with His disciples, told them, when imparting to them 
the secrets of theology, ' When the Comforter is come. 
Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the 
Spirit of Truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, 
He shall testify of Me/ Here, by three expressions, 
our Saviour has placed the three Divine Persons in 
their relation to each other. Of the Spirit He says, 
'When He is come;' of Himself with the Father, 
' Whom I will send unto you from the Father ;' then 
of the Father alone, 'Which proceedeth from the 
Father/ See you not a strict exactness in this Divine 
doctrine ? The words when . . . come show the freedom 
and superior dignity of the Spirit. When He says, 
' Whom I will send unto you from the Father,' then 
He shows His own and His Father's will of sending 
the Holy Ghost. But when He says, 'Which pro- 
ceedeth from the Father,' He shows the Cause of the 
Spirit, from Which He takes His existence. . . Why, 
then, did not the Lord say, after mentioning Himself, 
and attributing to Himself and the Father the mission 
of the Holy Ghost, why did He not say of His proces- 
sion, 'Which proceedeth from Us?' He woidd un- 
doubtedly have said so, if He had avowed the proces- 


dion of the Holy Ghost from Himself also. And that 
the procession from the Father forms a personal attri- 
bute of the Holy Spirit,, and that consequently no 
' Filioque' can be implied here, is testified by S. Gre- 
gory. Representing the personal attributes of the Di- 
vine Persons, he says, ^ Keeping within the limits given 
us, we introduce the Unborn, Bom, and Proceeding 
One from the Father.' ^ Thus, when the personal 
attribute of the Holy Ghost is His procession from the 
Father, and not plainly a procession, — and the per- 
sonal attribute must fully coincide with the person to 
whom it belongs, as a person, including nothing more 
or less in itself, — then, if there is a Holy Ghost, He 
proceeds from the Father ; and if some one proceeds 
from the Father, then it is the Holy Ghost. 

" Christ's disciple Paul writes in his Epistle to the 
Corinthians : ' Now we have received, not the spirit of 
the world, but the Spirit which is of God.' (1 Cor. ii. 
12.) Let no one suppose that in this text one can im- 
ply the Son under the name of God. S. John explain- 
ing2 this theology in his revelation to Gregory the 
Wonder-worker, at the mediation of the Virgin Mary, 
says: One is the Holy Spirit, receiving His being 
from God, and appearing to men through the Son. 
It is evident, that here one must not imply the Son in 
the words 'receiving His being from God,' for other- 
wise it would not have been said, and appearing to men 
through the Son .... 

** After the Divine Apostle Paul, let his disciple blessed 

* Sermon on Theology, iii. Works of the Fathers, pt. iii. p. 54. 
^ [It must be remembered that the authenticity of this Apocryphal 
book was at that time not disputed by the Latins.] 


Dionysius come forth . . f . Showing the difference of 
the Divine persons, he says : ' there is one source of 
the pre-essential Godhead— God the Father/ ^ Thus, 
if the Father is the only source of Divinity, and in this 
differs from the Son and Holt Ghost, then neither the 
Son nor the Holy Ghost can be the source of Di- 
vinity together with the Father. The same is said by 
S. Athadasius the Great in his sermon on the eternal 
existence of the Son and Holy Ghost. We differ, he 
says, both from the Jews and from those who offend 
Christianity, who, denying God from God, say as the 
Jews do, that there is one God, not meaning that there 
is one unborn and one source of Divinity — ^the Father, 
— but implying that He has no Son or Living Word. 

" But let us show you also the definitions of the (Ecu- 
menical Coimcils ; they confirm our doctrine. The first 
holy (Ecumenical Council by the mouth of Leontius, 
Bishop of Csesarea, speaks thus to the doubting philo- 
sopher : ^ Receive the one Divinity of the Father, Who 
hath produced the Son, and of the Son bom of Him, and 
of the Holy Ghost proceeding from the very Father and 
proper to the Son, as the Divine Apostle says : If any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.'^ 
(Bom. viii. 9.) The Fathers signify by the words 
^ proper to the Son,^ that though the Holy Ghost does 
not proceed from the Son, He is not strange to Him, is 
His own by essence, consubstantial with Him. Basil 
the Great teaches the same : ^ The Spirit is called 
Christ, as essentially united to Christ.^3 jf g^ Basil 

^ De diy. nominib. c. 2. 

* CfelaaiuB Cyz. in the BSstory of the first CEcumenical CounciL 

3 On the Holt G-host to Amphilochius, chap. xTiii. 


had admitted the existence of the Spirit from the Son^ 
as the interpolated book says^ then he would not have 
said: 'as united essentially to Christ/ but 'as pro- 
ceeding and receiving existence from Him/ 

*' The second (Ecumenical Council wishing to explain 
the words of the Nicene Creed : ' and in the Holy Ghost/ 
and to show more clearly against heretics, how it is 
that the Holy Ghost is reckoned together with the 
Father and the Son, speaks thus in its symbol : ' we be- 
lieve in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, Who 
proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the 
Son together is worshipped and glorified,' Here attention 
must be paid to the objects the Fathers had in view 
when writing these words. The Council wished to re- 
present the manner of the Holy Ghost's union with 
the Father and the Son, and see now how distinctly 
the Council marks the affinity of the Holy Ghost with 
the Father and the Son. The Fathers did not say 
that the Spirit is reckoned with the Father and Son, 
but that He proceeds from the Father, and is to- 
gether worshipped and together glorified with the Fa- 
ther and Son, that is. He is of equal honour, and con- 
substantial with Them. If the Council had admitted 
the Spirit's procession from the Father and the Son, 
why then did it not in speaking of the Father and 
Son say : ' Who proceedeth from the Father and the 
Son, Who with the Father and the Son is together 
worshipped and together glorified ?' This is what should 
have been said if the Council had adhered to such a doc- 
trine. But whereas, in the first case, the Fathers did 
not mention the Son, when they were showing the cause 
of the procession, and did mention Him in the second 


place when showing His equality of honour and consub- 
stantiality^ then it is plain^ that they did not admit of 
the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son also. 
That this explanation is a perfect one, and not half-per- 
fect, as you say, is evident from this, that none of the 
subsequent Councils gave any new version to the ex- 
planation and did not add, that the Spirit proceeds from 
the Son. On the contrary, all the Councils have pro- 
hibited and reproved this addition by their decrees, as 
if prophetically foreseeing what would happen among you. 

'^ Gregory the Theologian says quite conformably with 
himself and the other Fathers : ^ Everything the Fa- 
ther has belongs to the Son, with the exception of 

^^ The third (Ecumenical Council having listened to the 
Nestorian Creed (presented by the presbyter Charisius)^ 
which, among other things, contained the following: 
' The Holy Ghost is not the Son, neither does He take 
His existence through the Son,' — received and approved 
of this theology, as being that of the Fathers and con- 
formable with the Divine Scripture — without making 
any objection against it. But in its decree on the Creed^ 
the Council remarked: 'if any, whether Bishops, or 
priests, or laymen, shall be discovered either holding or 
teaching the things contained in the exposition, which 
was exhibited by the presbyter Charisius concerning the 
incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God, or^ the 
impious and profane doctrine of Nestorius, they shall 
be subjected to the sentence of this holy and (Ecume- 
nical Synod/2 g^^^ my Fathers, what doctrine in this 

1 Canon VII. Instead of ^^or^^* Mark of Ephesus used rovriim, 
3 Canons of the Church. Hammond, p. 69. 


Creed the Council calls impious and profane? The 
doctrine on the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of 
GrOD. Thus^ we see^ that the dogmas relating to the- 
ology^ were found by the Council to be sound, religious^ 
and meriting no reproof. This also is no smaU argu- 
ment in favour of the universal doctrine of the Church, 
that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son. 

" And when Cyril the blessed, disputing with Nesto- 
rius on the procession of the Holy Ghost, gave some 
reason to think that he admitted the Spirit's procession 
from the Son, then Theodoret, rebuking him in the 
name of the Eastern Bishops, wrote : 'If he (Cyril of Alex- 
andria,) calls the Spirit proper to the Son, in the sense 
that He is consubstantial with the Son and proceeds 
from the Father; then we agree with him and call his 
words orthodox. But if in the sense, that the Spirit 
receives His existence from the Son, or through the 
Son, then we reject his words as evil and blasphemous. 
For we believe the Lord, Who said: The Spirit of 
truth, which proceedeth from the Father/ Answer- 
ing this accusation in a letter to a certain Bishop — 
Eutropius, Cyril complains of being slandered by him on 
account of his enmity towards himself and his friendship 
with Nestorius. He also wrote in his apology, that 
'though the Spirit proceeds from the Father, still 
He is no alien to the Son, for the Son has everything 
jointly with the Father.' See, how he agrees with 
that part of the doctrine in which Theodoret agrees 
with him. Lastly, on the conclusion of peace with the 

1 eeoAoy/o. The old Fathers usually used this word to denote the 
intrinsio doctrine on the Diyinitj, and to distinguish it from the doctrine 
an the Incarnation, or the economy of the salvation of mankind. 


Easterns, Cyril the blessed wrote on the same subject 
to John of Antioch. Here he again speaks of the pro- 
cession of the Holy Ghost and of the Creed: ^We do 
not allow ourselves or others to change a single expres- 
sion in the Symbol of Faith, to omit one syllable, ever 
mindful of him who said : Remove not the ancient 
landmark, which thy fathers have set, (Prov. xxii. 28,) 
for it was not they who spoke, but the Spirit of God 
and FATHER,-which proceedeth from Him, but is not 
alien to the Son, as regards His essence/ You can 
see from this also, to what part of Theodoret's di- 
vision Cyril agrees to. On the receipt of this epistle 
by the Easterns, Theodoret finding this theology con- 
formable with his own doctrine and that of Scripture, 
wrote to John of Antioch as follows : ' The last epistle 
(of Cyril) is adorned with Gospel honesty; for in it, 
our Lord Jesus Christ is received as perfect God and 
perfect man, and the Holy Ghost not receiving His 
existence from or through the Son, but as proceeding 
from the Father and proper to the Son. Finding this 
epistle correct we have given praise to Him, Who has 
healed the stammerers and changed discordant sounds 
into a perfect harmony.^ 

^^ We see from all this,^^ concluded Mark, '^ that we 
teach conformably with Holy Scripture, and the holy Fa- 
thers, and Teachers, nothing changing or misrepresent- 
ing in the dogmas handed down to us, nothing adding to 
them, or taking from them, and adding nothing new." 

John several times interrupted Mark's speech with 
his remarks, that he had diverged from the fixed order 
of the dispute. But the defender of orthodoxy answered : 
^^ All the preceding sittings passed in the examination 


of two or three passages from the Fathers. This way 
of conducting the dispute must not last for ever^ and 
we have therefore agreed to offer our arguments con- 
cretely, extracting them not from any spurious or little 
known sources^ not from doubtful and corrupted places, 
but from the Holy Scriptures, and by all received pas- 
sages from the Fathers. If we continue to dwell upon 
one and the same subject, there will be no end of our 
refutations of your words and answers." 

After this, John also found it expedient to make a 
solemn proclamation, that ^^ the Church of Rome does 
not admit of two principles or causes in the Trinity, but 
pnly one cause and one principle, anathematising all 
who think to the contrary."^ Here John intention- 
ally avoided a fuU explanation of what he meant, for 
he never reftised to admit the Son as a cause of the 
Holy Ghost, but said, that the Father is the ori- 
ginal cause of the Spirit, and that the Son derives 
power from the Father to educe the Spirit not from 
Himself, but from the Father.^ John^s words were 
not without their influence. 

The Emperor deeming everything done on his own 
part to sustain orthodoxy, appointed a separate assembly 
of Greeks at the Patriarchs residence. There, he 
showed the Bishops, that the time was passing by very 
quickly, whereas the disputes had advanced matters a 
very little farther. It is time, said he, to terminate the 
disputes and seek other means for our reconciliation 

1 Synod. Hop. pp. 511—650. 

2 ^od. Flop. pp. 492 — 493. *0 Tlhs iK rov Uarphs Kaixfidiffi KOi 
rh €h€U Koi, rh irpofidWeiv rh Tlvevfia oIk i^ lai/roD i,W* i^ iKelvov' kot^ 
rovTOV rhv \6yov hpx^^^^^^ Kai avKcas cClriov rod Uvfvfiaros 6 Dar^p. 


with the Latin Church. These means are in your hands^ 
my fathers ! Brother John has said before the whole 
of the Council^ that the Latins admit one cause of the 
Son and the Holy Ghost — the Fatheb. The Emperor 
then showed a written exposition of the doctrine^ given 
to him by John. 

But the Bishops^ knowing well what double meaning 
lurked under the expressions used by John in the written 
exposition of the Latin doctrine^ sought another^ firmer 
foundation for peace. The attention of all was turned 
to the epistle of Maximus the Confessor, (seventh cen- 
tury,) who in his time wrote in the following manner 
about the Roman Christians: — ^^ Adducing the testi- 
mony of the Roman Fathers and of Cyril of Alexandria 
(from his exposition on the Gospel of S. John), the 
Romans do not affirm that the Son is the Cause of the 
Spirit, for they know that the Cause of the Son and of 
the Spirit is the Father of One by birth, and of the 
Other by procession ; but only show that the Spirit is 
sent through the Son, and thereby express the affinity 
and the indifference of their essence.'^^ The Greeks re- 
ceived this testimony of Maximus about the ancient 
Romans with great pleasure. " If the Latins teach on 
the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost con- 
formably with the testimony of Maximus,^' said the 
Greek bishops, " then no further discussions are neces- 
sary, and the former union of Churches can take place.'' 

The Latins, however, would not agree to this. They 

' Mark's last idea is thus expressed : &AX* tva Kal di ainov irpoi4vai Koi. 
raWj^ rh trwcup^s rTJs ovcrias koX iiirapdWaKrov vapourr'fiatoa'i. The mean- 
ing of these words can be defined by the translation and explanation of 
the Latin writer, Anastasius the librarian, (ix. c.) Zoemikoff, p. 409. 


wanted to have the last word^ and demanded a cou- 
tinuation of the Council sittings. It was very reluc- 
tantly that the Emperor again appeared at the Council. 
In order not to recommence the disputes^ he prohibited 
the re-appearance of the two combatants for orthodoxy, 
— Mark of Ephesus and Anthony of Heraclea.^ 

In the course of the last two solemn sittings (March 
21 and 24), when John the Provincial, noticing the ab- 
sence of his energetic opponent, obstinately demanded 
Mark^s re-appearance, the Emperor answered this 
boastful scholastic, "We do not wish to renew the 
disputes at present ; this is why Mark is absent. We 
have come here only to satisfy your demands. Say 
what you will, we will give no answer.^^ 

Thus, during both the last sittings, John was the 
only orator at the Council. In the first sitting he 
quoted the testimonies of the Eastern Fathers and 
Teachers, which, in his opinion, confirmed the doctrine 
of the Church of Rome. In the last sitting, he, not so 
much refuting as changing Mark's words, adduced the 
words of the Eastern Fathers, apparently agreeable to 
this doctrine. None of the Greeks said a word in re- 
turn ; such was the Emperor's will. Only, towards the 
end of the sitting, Isidore of Russia observed to John, 
that he who remains alone on the course vainly thinks 
himself conqueror, when there are no rivals to compete 
with him.2 

The solemn session ended. The Pope sent to the 
Patriarch, saying, that as the Greeks had refused to 

^ Syn. Flor. pp. 550 — 554. Dorotheas positiyely says that these two 
Bishops were forbidden to re-appear at the Council, p. 654. 
' Syn. Ilor. pp. 555, 562. 


continue the disputes^ they must either express their 
consent to the doctrine of the Church of Rome, or re- 
turn home by Easter (April 5).^ 




From about this time commences a tedious and 
heavy struggle between the Emperor^s conscience and 
the demands of the Latins ; between views of aiding his 
empire and fears of falling under the general accusation 
of treason to Orthodoxy. All hope of a true Christian 
peace for the Church was lost. It was to be bought at 
a bargain. How, then, could he give this bargain a more 
honest appearance ? how could he give the least account 
of it before his own Church, before his own people? 
Such were the principal questions forming an uneasy 
theme for the on all sides oppressed Emperor ! 

In the private sittings of the Greeks he said, " I am 
the defender of the Church. The duty of a defender in 
this case consists, firstly, in preserving and defending 
the doctrine of the Church, in giving liberty to any 
one wishing to defend it, and in keeping back persons 
inclined to dispute and contradict; secondly, to keep 
all our people in unity of spirit."^ At another time, 
when the tired Greeks asked him to end the disputes as 
soon as possible, he answered, ^^This depends not oft 

3 Syn. Flop. p. 663. » Syr. viii 6. 


me, but on the Church. If I act firmly, and any harm 
happens, the general displeasure will fall upon me. 
This is a Church affair, and requires great circumspec- 
tion and a Church Council."^ When the Pope and 
Cardinals hurried him on to conclude peace, he again 
answered, " I am no lord over the Council ; I desire no 
forced union.^^^ 

Thus spoke and thus apparently acted the Emperor, 
deciding upon nothing without the Bishops^ advice, and 
in the meantime using different means to attain the 
object he had in view. He became very intimate with 
the members most devoted to the union — Bessarion of 
Nice, Isidore of Russia, and Gregory the Syncellus. 
With these he took counsel, and by means of them he 
inclined the minds of the other members to his wished- 
for aim.3 

In order to understand the matter better, it is worth 
noticing why these persons were so eager for an union 
with the Church of Rome. Bessarion assured his friends 
that he inclined to the Latin side, because he was per- 
suaded by the number of testimonies which seemed to 
confirm the Latin doctrine on the procession of the Holy 
Ghost. But we have seen how signal a victory was 
gained over these false arguments by Mark of Ephesus. 
The learned Bessarion could not but feel this also, for 
he did not contradict Mark, neither did he ask him to 
solve his misunderstandings. If he had been sincerely 
attached to his old faith, then surely it would not have 
been so easy a matter for him to change it. No ! it 
was no love of truth, but other objects in view, that 
prevailed upon him to side with the Latins ; and most 

y Syr. TiiL 7. « gy^^ j^op. pp. 590, 695. ^ Syr. viii. 4. 


likely a wish to afford John pleasure, and a hope of 
honours from the Roman court. Very curious is his 
opinion of one of the former defenders of the Latin doc- 
trine, Nicetas of Thessalonica, who nevertheless deemed 
the addition to the Creed an unjust one. He avowed, 
wrote Bessarion, the conclusion a just one, (i. e., that 
the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son,) but disputed, 
we may say, about an ass's shadow, asserting that even 
what is true ought not to be added to the Creed. A 
proof of deep religious feeling and wisdom ! Does the 
irony of his words testify to his love of truth ? But 
this is exactly what he wrote in his letter to Alexis Las- 
caris, in which he explains his motives for agreeing 
with the Latins.^ Isidore himself remarked to John 
the Provincial, during the last sitting, that his argu- 
ments, to which no answer was given, do not give him 
the right of claiming a victory over the Greeks; and 
notwithstanding, immediately, after the close of the 
session, was the first to vote for the Latins. Plainly 
enough, in this case also, it was not persuasion in the 
truth that impelled Isidore to act as he did, but wishea 
and hopes similar to those nourished by Bessarion. As 
to Gregory y who afterwards ascended the throne of the 
miserable Patriarch Joseph, this is what he says of 
himself in moments of sincerity: "I know that, if we 
join the Latin Church, we shall be cursed, yes, even 
before we get to Venice ; if even we do not join, we 
shall still be cursed. At all events, it is better to join, 
and then bear the curse.'^^ Such were the persdns sur- 
rounding John ! 
When those who were displeased at the turn affedrs 

^ Allat. de perpet. consens. pp. 705, 930. ^ Syr. ix. 6. 


bad taken asked the Emperor^s leave to return home^ he 
would not allow any one to go out of the town,^ accused 
them of pusillanimity^ of indifference towards the general 
good ; threatened them with his anger.^ In the private 
meetings he pointed out to the Greeks the advantage of 
concluding peace^ referred to his own labours^ the ex- 
ample of former times ; at one time asking civil officials 
to the council and demanding their opinions, at other 
times prohibiting them to vote. 

In the meantime the Pope, instead of all the comforts 
promised by him to the Greeks, kept them longer than 
he did at Ferrara waiting for the promised help. Ever 
since their arrival «.t Florence, (Feb. 8,) they had not 
received a penny till the 22nd of May,^ and then only 
two months^ allowance was paid them. The rest of the 
money was paid down after the last decree on the 
union was signed.* Christopher, the distributor of the 
Papal largesse, even had the impudence to order that 
nothing should be given to Mark of Ephesus. "He 
eats the Pope^s bread,^' said Christopher, " and opposes 
the Pope.''5 

Such was the condition of the Greeks, when the 
means of bringing about an union with the Church of 
Bome were being discussed. The notice given by 
the Pope was very short.® On Monday in Holy 
Week (March 30), the Emperor summoned a council 
in the apartments of the invalid Patriarch. Before it 


1 Syr. viii. 4. ^ Syr. viii. 7 ; ix. 1. 

* Syr. viii. 6 ; ix. 2. 1,208 florins were given for two months. 
< Syr. X. 3, 17. ^ Syr. ix. 2. 

* I^ot more than twelve days had elapsed since the last Council sit- 
ting (March 24) till Ea«ter (April 5). 



took place^ the Greeks looked over the books referrfed 
to by the Latins. ^ As soon as the discussion about the 
union commenced^ Isidore of Russia was the first to 
give in his vote. " It is better/^ said he, " to join 
the Latins heart and soul, than to return without 
having finished the work in hand. Of course we caii 
return, but how to return — whither — when?^' Bes- 
sarion defended Isidore's opinion. But Dositheus of 
Monemvasia, Yicar of the throne of Jerusalem, replied 
with warmth, " What is it you want to do ? To return 
home at the Pope's expense, and turn false to our doc- 
trine ? I would sooner consent to die, than receive the 
Latin faith.'' Isidore tried to persuade him, that not 
only the Western but the Eastern Fathers admit the 
procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son. Anthony 
of Heraclea, Vicar of the Alexandrian throne, objected, 
that the Councils and all the Greek Fathers teach that 
the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone. 
But Mark, daring more than the rest, proclaimed that 
the Latins were not only schismatics, but heretics. 
^' Our Church," said Mark, " has kept silence on this, 
because the Latins are more powerful and numerous 
than we are ; but we, in fact, have broken all ties with 
them, for the very reason that they are heretics.^ Peace 
with them can be renewed only on their rejecting the 
addition to the Creed, and receiving our doctrine on 

» Syn. Flor. p. 562. 

^ Michael, Patriarch of Constantinople towards the end of the 
twelfth century, writes : '* It would be just to anathematise the Latias, 
and call them heretics. But the Orthodox Fathers have mitigated the 
sentence ; they have only cut off and abjured the Latins, but haye not 
openly declared them heretics, neither have they adjudged them to the 
same punishment with heretics." Allat. de consens. EccL p. 617. 


the procession of the Holy Ghost/^ "How, then, 
wilt thou answer the testimonies of the Latin Fathers 
adduced by the Latins?^* asked the Emperor. Mark 
answered, " I am not certain whether they really are 
the words of holy Fathers. We have none of their 
writings." Afterwards, while speaking on the same 
subject, Mark added, " that the Latin testimonies of the 
Fathers must be compared with the testimony of Maxi- 
mus the Confessor on the belief of the Church of Rome, 
and also with the testimonies of the (Ecumenical Councils"^ 

Thus, even at the very commencement of discussions 
on the union, a division took place between the parties 
discussing ! Three Vicars of three Eastern Patriarchates 
stood firmly for Orthodoxy. They were joined by other 
bishops, though not all, and even by some of the civil 
ofiSicials surrounding the Emperor. 

During Holy Week and Easter the Greeks had 
three more assemblies on the same subject, and with 
the same success. Some sided with Bessarion and 
Isidore, as, for instance, Dorotheas of Mitylene, who 
from this time became a strenuous upholder of the 
union.2 But the Orthodox side was stronger than the 
opposition. This is why the Emperor, on Friday in 
Easter Week, (April 10,) sent to tell the Pope that the 
Greeks would no longer continue the disputes, and could 

1 Synod. Mor. pp. 563, 568. Syr. viii. 2. 

> It is true that Dorotheus mentions that, during the third assemhly 
in the Patriarch's apartments, all had nearly agreed to his proposal of 
union with the Latins, on the foundation of the testimonies of the Latin 
Fathers, and the words of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. But 
this is contradicted hy the circumstance of the Emperor's afterwards 
asking the Pope to point out some means of reconciliation. Syn. Flor. 
p. 569. 



find no means for a reconciliation : " If you can think of 
any means^ tell us; but we have said^ and say^ that 
the doctrine taught by us is the tradition of the Fathers 
and the (Ecumenical Councils/^ ^ 

The Pope requested the Greeks to state their misun-' 
derstandings on the doctrine of the Church of Bome^ 
and to hear an answer to them by the Latin divines; 
"or else if you wish/^ said the Pope, '^let every one 
before the Gospel, or before the Blood and Body of 
Christ frankly divulge his opinions : and then, what shall 
be found just by the majority, shall be universally re- 
ceived/^ But to agree to the first proposition was the 
same thing as recommencing the disputes. The last 
part of the proposal seemed to be something out of the 
common, as it was never heard of at the former Councils. 
Thus on the same day, the Emperor and the Council of 
the Greeks, having refused the first proposition renewed 
their demands for other means to bring about the union.^ 

The Pope promised to send his Cardinals to speak on 
this subject with the Greeks. In expectation of these 
counsellors, Bessarion of Nicsea and George Scholarius 
presented to the Greek assembly their own opinions 
upon the subject of dispute between the Greeks and 
Latins, and on the present position of Greek affairs. 
Bessarion began his long speech by saying, that Eastern 
and Western Bishops being led by one and the same 
Spirit cannot contradict each other, and concluded from 
this, that when contradictions are to be met with in 
their writings, they must be reconciled, by determining 

1 Synod. Flor. pp. 566, 569. Syr. viii. 2. Syropulus refers only to 
those assemblies which were held in the Emperor's presence. 

2 Synod. Flor. pp. 569, 574. Syr. viii. 8. 


the sense of obscure passages by those more clear. But^ 
among the Western Fathers, continued Bessarion, we 
find many plain allusions made of the Spirit^s proces- 
sion from the Son. The Eastern Fathers sometimes 
say^ that the Holt Ghost appears, emanates, proceeds 
from the Father through the Son, is the Spirit of Both, 
is from the Son. All these expressions, concluded Bes- 
sarion, must be understood as agreeable to the doctrine, 
contained, as he thought, in the writings of the Latin 
Fathers and Church Teachers. Their very words he did 
not quote, deeming, as he affirmed, what was said at the 
Coundl satisfactory; though referring to the arguments 
made use of by Mark of Ephesus, he did not examine or 
reftite them, and used a very strange method of recon- 
ciling the contradictions between the Easterns and 
Westerns. For if no one doubts, that the Fathers of 
the Eastern Church were the teachers of the Western 
Fathers, if the former axe superior both in age and 
learning, and on account of their labours in the develop- 
ments of the doctrine of faith, then evidently it is not 
the Eastern Fathers are to be explained by the Latin 
ones, but vice versd. Bessarion even blamed Mark for 
not answering some of the Latin questions at the Coun- 
cil.^ Scholarius^ speeches, even if they have not come 
down to us in their original form, as the Latins them- 
selves avow, contained exhortations for peace to be 
founded not on any interested motives, but on truth 

^ Syn. Hor. t. iL pp. 187, 274. In order to understand rightly the 
psBsageB taken by Bessarion from the writings of the Fathers of the 
Eastern Church, we must refer our readers to Adam Zoemikoff's work. 
There the author proves, that the Western Fathers of the first eight 
centuries taught agreeably with the Eastern that the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds £rom the Fatheb alone. Tractatus iv. 


universally acknowledged; they also pointed out the 
means of doing away with the objections against the 
truth^s open confession^ and to some of the means of 
defining it.^ 

On the 15th of April three Cardinals, with several 
Bishops and Abbots came to the Council from the Pope. 
Cardinal Julian spent two hours in trying to prove to the 
Emperor the necessity of recommencing the discussions. 
The Emperor would not comply. After several disputes 
on this subject, it was agreed to appoint a committee of 
twenty members, ten from each side, to lay down the 
doctrine of the Holy Ghost's procession in such a form, 
as might be received both by the Latins and the Greeks. 
The members of the committee were to assemble in the 
Papal palace, and each of them in turn was to give his 
opinion in the course of eight sittings. 

On receiving the Pope's assent to this discussion, the 
Emperor appointed Anthony of Heraclea, Mark, Isidore, 
Dositheus of Monemvasia, Bessarion, and others, as 
members of the committee; and himself was present 
also during its sittings. It was hard to suppose that 
the committee would agree in the choice of the means 
for a reconciliation, after disagreeing, with each other on 
dogmatical principles. Bessarion proposed, that the 
same expressions should be used which had been for- 
merly used by Maximus the Confessor, in his epistle to 
Marinus, to explain the Latin doctrine on the proces- 

1 We mean the three speeches aficribed to George Scholorias, and 
usually found in the Appendix to the acts of the Council of Morenoe, in 
the form of one entire speech. Syn. Mor. t. ii. pp. 28 — 186. As to the 
epistle preceding the speeches, also ascribed to Scholarius, it is eridently 
not authentic. Yide on this the Dissertation of Benaudot, de Qennadio 
Scholar, in Fabr. BibL Gtrac. Ed. Harles. xi. p. 864 and 371. 


sion. But the Latins found that these words ccmtained 
a meaning directly contrary to the doctrine of the 
Eastern Church. Others adduced as an example the 
epistle of Tarasius^ Patriarch of Constantinople^ where 
it was said that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the 
Father throi^h the Son. But the Latins on getting 
to know that the Greeks distinguish ha fi*om kx, ob- 
jected to these expressions. Mark^ always true to his 
persuasion^ said on this occasion : " Let the Latins do 
away with the addition made by them to the Creeds and 
then the union of Churches can take place.'' ^ 

But the Latins would not even listen to this propo- 
sition. Thus^ the sittings of the committee were spent 
in vain disputes^ so that the Greeks after two meetings 
refused to come any more to the Papal palace. The 
Latins however obliged them to attend three more meet- 
ings^ which as usual were without any result.^ 

Soon after, the Latins sent their own formula 
or exposition of the subject disputed to the Greeks. 
They proposed, that both parties should explain their 
doctrine in the following form : " We Greeks do pro- 
claim that, though we admit the procession of the Holy 
Ghost from the Father, still we do not deny that the 
Holy Ghost proceeds and receives from the Son, as 
from the Father; but forasmuch as we have heard 
that the Latins avow the procession of the Holy Ghost 
from the Father and the Son, as from two principles, 

^ ASberwaxda, when Bessarion began to slander Mark, as consenting 
to the Latin doctrine, and only demanding the rejection of the addition 
to the Greed, — ^Mark gave an explanation quite contrary to this idea. 
Syrop. yiiL 16. 

3 Synod, ilor. 580—583. Syrop. viii. 11, 12. 


for this very reason have we avoided this expression. 
But we Latins do affirm that^ though we avow the pro- 
cession of the Holt Ghost &om the Father and the 
Son, still we do not deny that the Father is the source 
and origin of all Divinity, i.e., the Son and the Holy 
Ghost ; in like manner, avowing the procession of the 
Holy Ghost from the Son, we do not deny that the 
Son has this from the Father, and do not admit two 
principles or two proceedings of the Holy Ghost, but 
one origin and one procession.^'i Two days later the 
Latins sent in their exposition of the dogma also. 

When this exposition was read before the Council of 
Greek Bishops, it was indignantly rejected by nearly all 
of them, excepting the real apostates of orthodoxy, such 
as Isidore, Bessarion, Dorotheus of Mitylene, Gregory 
the almoner : " How are we to receive," said the ortho- 
dox, ^^ this exposition directly contrary to the doctrine 
of our Church?" The Latin partizan Bessarion again 
took up his favourite theme, and endeavoured to prove 
that the expressions found in the works of the Greek 
Fathers, such as — through the Soriy are quite identical with 
the Latin /rom the Son, i.e., that the Son is the cause of 
the procession of the Holy Ghost as well as the Fa- 
ther, though the Latins themselves, as we have seen 
above, did not look upon these expressions as identical. 
Mark of Ephesus opposed to Bessarion the words of S. 
John Chrysostom, who, admitting the procession of the 

^ Syropulus most likely quotes both this act and the Ghreek answer in 
their original form, and in the Hist, of the Florentine Council only as 
an epitome. Besides this Syropulus mentions the Latin objections to 
the Greek answer. The authenticity of these acts in Syropulus is re- 
ceived by Le Quien. Dissertat. Damasc. i. 27. 

Ix AND hoc. 129 

Spirit through the Son^ at the same time denies His 
procession from the Son : and for this reason does not 
admits that the Son is the cause of the Holt Ghost. 

This is what S. John says : Hvevfua tou FlaTpos, mg Ix 
IIctTpos BKiropwofi.evov, xa) Tlov $6 IlifevfMij oux dg If avTOv, 
aXk* oog h' avTov ex tou Uarpog hxiropevouLevov, Movog yap 
air log 6 IIoiTvip,^ 

More than one sitting was spent in unnecessary dis- 
cussions on the Ix and hi. At last the Emperor re- 
minded the assembly that an answer must be given to 
the Latins. Isidore proposed that the treatise on the 
Greek doctrine contained in the .exposition sent by the 
Latins^ should be filled up with expressions found in the 
writings of the Greek Fathers, and more agreeable to 
the Latin doctrine. With this in view, he read several 
passages from the work of one Latinizing Patriarch, 
John Veccus, passages interpolated and wrongly ex- 
plained by an upholder of the Church of Rome.^ Two 
such passages were chosen : one from the acts of the 
first (Ecumenical Council, compiled by Gelasius of Cy- 
zicum; the other from the works of S. Cyril of Alex- 
andria. The first, if read in the form given to it by 
Veccus, stands thus : " The Holy Ghost proceeds from 
the Father, but is as His own to the Son, and overflows 
(ava/SXu^ov) from Him.''^ The second passage reads as 

1 De Fide Orthod. Lib. i. cap. xii. Ed. Le Quien. p. 148. 

* This work is called : 'Eiriypoupal, It is printed by Allatius in the 
Grsec. Orthodoxa. t. iL p. 522. The passages alluded to are found in 
the beginning of the book, p. 525, 526. 

' Th Rytvfxa iierop€v6fi€Vov fihv ix rod Varphst tSioy 8^ rod Ttov kcJ i^ 
cArov iivafiX^foy* In the acts of the Council of Nice tliis passage stands 
thus : 'EiaropevSfifVov filv rod Uarphs, tSiop 8i "by rod Tiod, "Ort 8^ i^ 
ahrod iifiiv ii,yafi\^oy iarl^ ffou^itrrara iv ^bayycXiots i^lda^ev avrhs 6 



follows : ^^ The Spirit essentially flows from Both, that is, 
from the Father through the Son."^ When rightly un- 
derstood, with the words avajSxu^ov and exvopevofLevov taken 
in the sense of temporal mission, these passages can be 
i*eceived by the Orthodox: thus, when the Emperor 
demanded the general opinion on these passages, many 
declared their assent to the doctrine contained in them. 
But aU these expressions lacked dogmatical accuracy, 
and this was why the defenders of orthodoxy were little 
content with them. Notwithstanding this, the Emperor 
ordered that the Greek doctrine on the Holy Ghost 
should be expounded, -and drawn up in expressions re- 
ceived by the majority. His orders were executed by 

In the exposition presented, the passage about the 
Latin doctrine remained as before ; but the Greek doc- 
trine was expressed in the very words of the above 
mentioned expressions, thus : " We Greeks do believe 
and confess, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the 
Father, but is as His own to the Son and flows out 
(ava/SxtJ^ov) from Him ; we also affirm and believe that 
He essentially flows from both, that is, from the Fa- 
ther and through the Son.^* Thus, in this formula, 
the Latin and the Greek party each retained its own 
doctrine, without rejecting the contrary opinion. On 
the formula being read before the Greek Council, the 
Emperor again demanded to know the general opinion 

K^pios .... Thus hvafixif^ov does not imply the eternal procession of 
the Holy G-host from the Son, but His mission to us. Yecous omits 
hlJuv, SeeZoemikoffin the Greek translation. T. i. p. 218, 219. 

^ Lib. i. de adoratione, p. 9. See the explanation of this passage in 
Zoemikoff. Tract, p. 836. 


on it^ and also sent to know the Patriarch's opinion^ 
who was then absent on account of his illness. Many 
approved this exposition of faith^ and the Patriarch also^ 
at least as the messengers said^ gave in his vote for it. 
But the three Vicars of the Eastern Patriarchates^ An- 
thony^ Mark^ and Dositheus^ and with them several 
Bishops^ and Syropulus^ rejected it. Anthony of He- 
radea reminded the Emperor^ that he himself at the 
commencement of the Florentine session had left the 
Greeks the right of recommencing the discussions on 
the addition to the Greedy whereas now he had given 
up everything to the Latins. Dositheus implored the 
Emperor to be more careful in what he did regarding 
the faith^ and pointed out the miserable example of 
Michael Palseologus. But John would listen to nothings 
and in order to increase the number of votes favourable 
to the formula^ ordered votes to be taken from the 
reporters present at the Council^ at the proposal of the 
Metropolitan of Lacedaemon and contrary to all rules. 
Thus a majority of twenty-one against twelve passed 
the exposition of faith^ compiled to please the Latins^ 
and given over to the Cardinals in the beginning of 

The Latin party present at the Council deemed this 
victory a very valuable one. But the Latins were not 
content with this twofold exposition of faith^ and a 
short time afterwards sent in twelve remarks on the 
Greek confession of faith. One of these remarks was^ 
that the expressions exicopivofuevov and etmfi\6fyv have a 
double meanings and can be referred to the temporal 

^ According to our Kussian memoirs, this last assembly took place on 
the 2nd of May. Ant. Biblioth. t. yi. treatise 42. 


mission of the Holt Ghost from the Son, and conse- 
qaeDtly demanded, that the Greeks should either receive 
the Latin formula of coufesaion or correct their own 
exposition of faith, changing the obscure and indefinite 
expressions in it. The Emperor did not show these 
remarks to the Bishops, but only mentioned, that the 
Latins demanded some explanations to several of the 
expressions in the Greek confession of faith.' 

For along time afterwards, it seemed, that all efforts 
for a reconciliation with the Latins wouU remain fruit- 
less. The Bishops who had consented to the eipositiou 
sent in by the Latins, now showed evident signs of dis- 
contentment. " What else do the Latins require from 
us ?" said they. " We wrote and presented our con- 
fession of faith in espreBsious used by the Fathers. We 
can do nothing more." Bull from inactivity, and 
pressed by want, the Greeks began asking the £m> 
peror's leave to return home ; but he kept them. The 
meetings following were spent in the former discussions 
on the ex and ha, on the authenticity oi not of the 
Latin testimonies. But all these discussions were ever 
without any resnlts, but those of mutual anger. An- 
thony of Heraclea, an old man, who had not received 
a learned education, biit was notwithstanding a warm 
defender of Orthodoxy, and Mark of Ephesus were con- 
tinually affronted by their Latinizing brethren. Once 
even Bessarion publicly declared, that Mark was held 
by an evil -spirit, while Dorotheus, with Methodius of 
Lacedsemon threatened to tell the Pope, that Mark 
look» twoiL the Roman Fontiff as a heretic. Anthony 
and Mijfcapproved the objections of Nilus CavasUas 
',' "'' '^ %'^- '"'■ 13, 16 i Synod. Flor. pp. 583— 588. 


againBt the Latin subtleties ; but Gregory the Confessor^ 
and Isidore of Russia^ called Nilus a schismatic^ and 
bade Mark first curse him and then adduce his testi- 

In the mean time the Latins were still expecting an 
answer to their remarks. But the Emperor would not 
answer. During an interview with the Pope he said : 
^^ If you receive our confession of faith^ then let the 
union come to pass. If not, we will return to Con- 
stantinople/' At another time, in reply to some re- 
proof made by the Pope on his inactivity, he said : 
^' Of course we ought to have given an explanation of 
our confession of faith ; but the most part of our Bishops 
are in doubt of what is demanded of them, some through 
ignorance, others because they cannot reject the doc- 
trine received from the Fathers/' At last the Pope 
persuaded the Emperor to send the Greek Bishops to 
his palace, intending to have a personal interview with 

On the 27th of May the Bishops came. Receiving 
them in the presence of nine Cardinals, the Pope re- 
minded them of his efforts and earnest desire for the 
union of Churches, at the same time turning their at- 
tention to their slowness in performing his wishes both 
at Ferrara and Florence ; he threatened to leave them 
helpless if they did not bestir themselves to join the 
Church of Rome, and bade them hope for aid from the 
Christian monarchs in case of the union taking place. 
Who knows, but that other more private and pleasant 
promises were made by this principal upholder of the 

At all events, soon after this Papal exhortation. 


Isidore and Bessarion, together with the Metropolitans of 
Lacedaemon and Mitylene^ came to the Emperor^ and 
positively told him^ that^ ^^if he does not wish for the 
union, they will unite without him/' This declaration 
made a very strong impression on the Emperor, so much 
so, that he ordered the Bishops to assemble for a dis- 
cussion. ^On the 28th of May^ the Emperor opened 
the meeting with a speech, in which he represented the 
necessity of peace for the Churches, advising his hearera 
at the same time to be very circuilispect in an alliance with 
the Church of Rome. The Bishops then anathematized 
all averse to the union. Then, at the demand of the 
Patriarch, were read those passages from S. Epiphanius 
and S. Cyril of Alexandria, in which the Latinizing 
party thought they could see the consent of these Fa- 
thers to the doctrine of Rome; these passages were 
easily found in the same works of Veccus, from which 
they had been before extracted. Repeating one pas- 
sage after the other, without the beginning or end, 
without even connecting them, Bessarion concluded: 
" so say the saints in many places !^' Dorotheus then 
read the testimonies of the Latin Fathers. 

On the next day, the reading of the Fathers of the 
Eastern Church was continued, namely, S. Athanasius, 

1 Syn. Flor. p. 689—601 ; Syr. ix. 1, 6. In the History of the Coun- 
cil of Florence, many meetings held between the 2nd and 28th of May 
are not mentioned. But Syropulus speaks of them, though he, in his 
turn says nothing about the Papal address to the Bishops. 

^ In mentioning the details of this and the subsequent meetings, in 
which the union with the Church of Bome was decided upon we are 
principally guided by Syropulus. Dorotheus' history is evidently par- 
tial to the Latins. Both narratives however agree pretty well in essen- 
tial points. 


Cyril of Alexandria^ Gregory of Nyssa^ Epiplianius^ 
Anastasius the Sinaite^ John Damascene^ and the eon- 
dusion made was^ that all these Fathers admit the 
procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son.^ 

On the third day (May 80) yotes were collected in 
favour of the Latin doctrine. The Bishops asked the 
Patriarch to vote the first. Joseph was loth to consent. 
At last he gave in his vote^ but his very vote was so capable 
of two meanings^ that many thought that he rejected the 
Latin doctrine. Then followed the votes of the Bishops 
and Hegumens. Out of twenty-seven present^ ten voted 
for the union: seventeen against it. Among those 
who would not consent to it^ were the three Patriarchal 
Vicars^ Mark of Ephesus^ Anthony of Heraclea^ and 
Dositheus of Monemvasia; the Metropolitans of Tre- 
bizond^ Cyzicum^ Tomovo^ Moldovlachia^ Amasea^ Me- 
lenicus^ Drama^ Drystra^ and Anchialus. Thus it seems 
that most of the Bishops were not persuaded by the 
lengthened readings of Bessarion and his party. The 
Chartophylax^ Ecclesiarch^ and other persons in the 
Patriarch^s service (among whom were many strenuous 
opponents of the union) were not even asked for their 
opinions^ and were also prohibited voting in the Council^ 
under the plea of their being a degree lower than the 
Hegumens. The Emperor even wished to hear the 
opinion of the civil officials in his suite^ but was opposed 
in this by the Patriarch. 

* Neither Syropulus nor Dorotheus mention what were the very words 
taken from the writings of any of these Fathers. This is why we can- 
not show here, how partial was the rendering of the passages, in which 
nothing at all was said to the advantage of the Latins. A list of these 
pafsages may be seen in 2ioemikoff. 


The Latinizing party, seeing how few were the votes 
for the union, betook themselves to other means. The 
Patriarch was persuaded to invite some of the opposing 
Bishops to his palace and there to entice them to the 
union. Isidore of Russia even proposed to* cut off the 
disobedient from the Church; but the Patriarch re- 
jected his plan as one which would be of no good to the 
union. Instead of this, Joseph invited the Metropolitans 
of Moldovlachia, Tomovo, and Amasea to his palace^ 
and there reproved them gently on their ingratitude and 
disobedience. ^' Why do you not listen to me V said 
Joseph. ^^ Was it not from my cell that you came out? 
Was it not I who raised you to the rank of Bishops? 
Why then do you betray me ? Why did you not second 
my opinion ? Think you, then, you can judge better 
than others about dogmas ? I know, as well as any- 
body else, what the Fathers taught.'^ The Bishops 
replied that, disagreeing with the Latins in the disputed 
doctrine, they thought of expressing the opinion of the 
Patriarch himself, understanding his words in the sense 
of a refusal to admit the Latin doctrine. But the Pa- 
triarch, in his turn, noticed that they had better have 
entered into the real meaning of his words, and expressed 
more clearly what they had heard rather obscurely. 
When dismissing them, Joseph advised them to follow 
his opinion, which he promised to explain more fully in. 
the following sitting. The Patriarch also had an in- 
terview with Mark, and intreated him in the name of 
all the Saints, and for the sake of his father^s memory, 
to agree to the union with the Church of Borne. But 
this venerable man remained firm against all entreaties. 
He had already been asked to agree to union, even if it 


were apparently for the sake of others. His answer 
was : ^' In deeds of faith there must be no concessions^ 
no waverings/' And when the diflference between the 
two confessions was shown as insignificant^ Mark an- 
swered : '^ You speak just like the prefect, who intreated 
Theodorus to receive heretics into communion only 
once^ and then to act as he liked/' The saint answered : 
" Thy request is like, as if a person said, Allow me to 
cut your head off, and then you may go wherever you 
like/'^ Following up this example, Mark remained firm 
to the end. 

At the same time, the Emperor by means of various 
promises had managed to gain over to his cause several 
of the Bishops, and the envoys from Trebizond and 
Moldovlachia, and even made the Metropolitan of 
Cyzicum waver, by making him a present of some land 
he had been longing for, Isidore, in the meantime, 
prepared a splendid repast for the Metropolitans of 
Melenicus, Drystra, Drama, and some others, and at 
table obtained their consent to the union. 

While guaranteeing his success in reconciling the 
Greeks to an union with the Church of Rome, the Em- 
peror wished also to make himself certain of the Pope's 
aid, should the union take place. Isidore, sent by him 
to the Pope on this business, returned with three Cardi- 
nals, who, in the Pope's name, assured him that the 
Pope (a) agrees to pay the return voyage of the Greeks ; 
(b) promises to keep three hundred soldiers at Constan- 
tinople, and two galleys in the Bosphorus, at his own 
expense ; (c) agrees to enforce it as a duty that all pil- 
grims to the East should call at Constantinople; (d) 

1 Syr. k. 6. 


in case of great necessity is ready to send the Emperor 
twenty galleys for half a year's time^ or ten galleys for 
a year; (e) and lastly^ if need be, will try to invite the 
European monarchs to give their aid to the Greek Em- 
pire by means of their land forces. 

After these preliminaries, the Emperor convoked a 
second meeting (2nd of June)^ to make a final decision 
Bs to the admission of the Latin dogma and the union 
with the Church of Rome. In this meeting the Patri- 
arch was the first to give his opinion, which, if it has 
come down to us rightly, was as follows : ^' I will not 
change, and never wiU I reject our doctrine handed 
down by the Fathers, but will sustain it till my last 
breath. But, whereas the Latins do avow the Proces- 
sion of the Most Holy Spirit &om the Son, not of 
their own accord, but on the foundation of Holy Scrip- 
ture, therefore do I also agree with them, expressing by 
the preposition $ia, that the Son is the Cause, and 
therefore also do I join and enter into union with 

The Patriarch afterwards made a written declaration 
of his opinion, viz.: "Whereas we have heard the 
words of the Holy Eastern and Western Fathers, of 
whom some say, that the Son proceeds from the Father 
and the Son ; and others, from the Father through the 
Son ; therefore, as the expression, ^ through the Son,' is 
equivalent to ^from the Son,' and vice vers&, — ^we, 
omitting the expression, from the Son, say, that the 
Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the 
Son ever and essentially, as from One Principle and 
Cause, using 'hi' to express the cause of the Holy 

* Syr. ix. 9. Vide History of the Council of Florencei June 3rcL 


Ghost's Procession/'^ Having explained his opinion^ 
the Patriarch made another remark^ that the Latins 
should not demand the insertion of the Filioque clause 
into the Greek Creed. After the Patriarch, the Vicars 
of the Eastern Patriarchates, and the other Metropo^ 
Utans and Hegnmens, gave in their opinions. The 
union party rapidly increased. Only three Patriarchal 
Vicars — Mark of Ephesus, Anthony of Heraclea, and 
Dositheus of Monemvasia, together with Sophronius, 
Metropolitan of Anchialus, remained steadfastly true to 
the Orthodox doctrine. Dositheus of Trebizond, who 
was not present at the Council on account of illness, 
gave no opinion at all, notwithstanding his opinion was 
very much demanded. The Emperor's brother, Deme- 
trius, also refused to give in his vote, under the plea, 
that he was not well informed on this affair, and was 
loth to meddle in it. Ten days afterwards he left the 
Council. The Emperor refusing to allow the Clergy 
occupying different offices round the Patriarch to give 
their votes, nevertheless demanded the opinions of his 
own civil officers, not excepting the Lord of the bed- 
chamber. All of them agreed to the union ; so did also 
the envoys of Moldovlachia, Trebizond, and Pelopon- 
nesus. The Georgian envoys, both Bishop and civilian, 
had already left Florence, as soon as they guessed the 
Emperor's plan of union with the Church of Rome. 

^ SyropuluB says plainly that the Patriarch's opinion was mostly 
thns written down, ix. 9. In the History of the Council of Florence it 
is also quoted word for word, being a proof of Syropulus' testimony, 
that this opinion was written down. We haye reasons to think that 
Syropulus is more correct in referring this circumstance to the present 
sitting rather than to the former ones. 


At last^ the Emperor himself gave his opinion to th 
Council. He said^ that looking upon this Council 
(Ecumenical^ he would abide by its decision^ and that 
of the majority of its members^ and is ready to defend 
its decision. Thus^ the first foundation for the union 
with the Church of Rome was confirmed by the decree 
of the Council. ^ 

1 Syr. ix. 12 ; Syn. Mor. pp. 601—620. We wiU give our readew 
some details of this sorrowful event, quoting the very words of the 
venerable Mark of Ephesus. In his Epistle '* on the Florentine Coun- 
cil," he writes : " The traitors to their own salvation were not content 
till they obtained a public confession of the Latin Creed in an assembly 
convoked and honoured by the presence of the Emperor, Patriarch, and 
Despot. Adducing passages from the works of the Western Teachers 
and the great S. Cyril, apparently &vourable to Latinism, and after hav- 
ing before this attacked me one by one with their sophistries, they then 
asked the members present at the Council what they thought of the ad- 
duced passages, and whether they avow the Son a Cause of the Holy 
G-HOST. The members answered that they did not doubt the authenti- 
city of these passages, relying on the Epistle of the divine Maximus ; 
but most of the members refused to admit the Son as the Cause of the 
Spibit (according to these passages) because the wise Maximus also 
gives the same opinion of these passages. But those who dared to say 
anything bad, tempted by different boastful promises, would listen to no 
one, and declared that the Son is the Cause of the Holy G-host, — an 
idea not even mentioned in the Latin quotations. Their words were con- 
firmed by the miserable Patriarch, who was formerly favourable to them, 
and was now impatiently awaiting his liberty, but vainly, for his lot 
was death. I had written my opinion, or confession of fidth, for it was 
agreed that every one should give in his opinion in writing. But when 
I saw that they were very warm for the union, and that my former 
companions fell into the same error with them, and that all had forgot- 
ten to write down their opinions, I kept my writing to myself fiaaring 
lest I should myself Ml into danger by provoking their anger. But I 
boldly explained my opinion in words, and showed that the words of 
the Eastern and Western Fathers can only be reconciled to each other 
by means of the explanation given them in the Epistie of Maximus, i.e., 


Before closing the assembly^ the Emperor declared^ 
that as the Council approves the doctrine of the Latin 
Churchy and wishes for an anion with it, all contradic- 
tion of the Council decree is prohibited, as well as every 
renewal of the controversy, under pain of severe punish- 
ment ; and immediately gave orders to his guards to look 
after the peace of the members of the Council.^ The 
opinions of the Bishops were written down. An extract 
was made from all these opinions, in which it was said : 
''We believe that the Holy Ghost is ever and essen- 
tially from the Father and the Son, ever and essentially 
proceeds from the Father through the Son.^' This 
definition was written down in three copies, one of 
which was taken by the Emperor, another by the Patri- 
arch, and the third was presented to the Pope. But even 
the new confession drawn up by the Greeks was not en- 
tirely approved by the Latins. The Cardinals demanded 
that the words, '' through the Son" should be omitted in 
the confession. The Greeks disputed a long while 
about this; but, at the desire of the Latins, were at 
last obliged to change these expressions. The confession 
was re-written, presented to the Pope, and approved by 
him. On the 8th of June, the confession was read in 
the presence of the Pope, in Greek and in Latin. As 

that the Son must not be thought the Cause of the Sfibit. Besides 
this, I noticed, with regard to the addition, that I did not approve of it 
in the Latin Creed, as being an addition made without sufficient reason. 
After this, they continued their business ; and I leaving them to them- 
selves, iLspt and keep away &om everything, in order to consecrate all 
my time to the Holy Fathers and Teachers." This letter is adduced in 
extracts in the answer given to it by Joseph Metho. Syn. Flor. t. xi. 
pp. 345—357. 
1 Syr. ix. 13. 


a sign of the approach of the times of peace^ between 
the Churches^ the Latins gave the Greeks the kiss of 


Disputes on otheb Latik Doctrines. Death op the Patbubch. 


The kiss given by the Latins was not a brotherly, sin- 
cere kiss of reconciled Christians. The Pope having 
forced the Greeks into a consent to the Latin doctrine 
on the Holy Ghost, wished moreover, that they should 
admit the other new doctrines of the Church of Rome, 
until then ever rejected by the Easterns. He said to 
Isidore, Bessarion, and the Metropolitans of Trebizond 
and Mitylene, who had been s«at to him by the Em- 
peror (June 9) : *^ We have now by Gon^s grace, come 
to an agreement on the disputed dogma. It still re- 
mains for us to define the doctrine on Purgatory, on 
the authority of the Papal throne, on the bread in the 
Eucharist, and on the consecration of the Host. Then 
every reason for disagreement will be done away with. 
Let us then finish our business, which can bear no pro- 

The Bishops immediately gave their explanation to 
the Pope^s proposal. With regard to the bread in the 
Eucharist, they prevailed on the Pope to admit of the 
validity of the Eucharist, whether performed in leavened 
or unleavened bread. In answer to the question on 
Purgatory, they said : " We confess, that the souls of 

1 Syn. Flor. pp. 621—^24. 


good men receive the full reward^ and those of sin- 
ners fuU punishment, whereas those in a middle con- 
dition are subjected to agonies in prison ; but what is 
the exact cause of their agonies^ whether it be fire, 
or darkness, or anything else, we cannot positively 
affirm/' With respect to the Pope's authority, they 
answered, that the Pontiff of ancient Rome ought to 
retain the rights he had before the division of Churches. 
As to the consecration of the Host in the Eucharist, the 
Greeks admitted, contrary to the doctrine of old, that 
at the pronunciation of our Saviour^s words : ^^ Take, 
eat/' &c., the bread and wine are immediately transub- 
stantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ, and said, 
that the prayer following this, in the Greek Liturgiarion 
has reference only to the communicants. In this prayer 
— said the apostates from Orthodoxy, quite contrary to 
its real meaning — we beseech, that the Holy Ghost ^ 
should descend upon the communicants, and should in 
them make the bread and wine the Body and Blood of 
Christ, bo that the consecrated Host in the Sacrament 
might cleanse their souls, to the forgiveness of their 
eins, and not to judgment or condemnation. The 
Greeks were also required to give an explanation wep) 
ttlas ova-lag xa\ svepyelas, a doctrine upon which Mark 
would not say a word at the Council. Even now the 
Bishops would not give the desired explanation.^ 

The Pope not quite satisfied with the explanations 
given by the Bishops, and wishing for a written answer 
firom the Greek Council, set down his demands more 
clearly in writing (the next day, June 10). He wished 

^ See note at the end of the chapter. 
2 Syn. Flor. p. 620—626. 


the Greeks to admit all the privileges of the Pope as the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ and Supreme PontiflF, and that 
they should consequently admit the justice of the ad- 
dition to the Creed, as one approved of by the Pope 
himself; that they should admit the doctrine on Pur- 
gatory, and generally speaking on the condition of souls 
after death, in the very same terms in which it was 
held by the Church of Rome; and lastly, that they 
should examine the doctrine on the Divine essence and 
action {irep) ielag ovclag xa) evepyela^). The Pope on his 
part agreed 'to admit the validity of the Eucharist 
when performed in leavened bread. But the Sishops, 
afraid of fresh disputes, refused to bring a written ex- 
position of the Papal demands, and only verbally in- 
formed the Emperor and Patriarch of them. This was 
before noon. 

In the evening of the same day, it became known, 
that the Patriarch Joseph was dead. According to Do- 
rotheus^s History, it seems, that when all had assem- 
bled in the Patriarch^s apartments, they were told by 
the servants, that the Patriarch had retired to his 
bedroom, as he was wont to do after his evening meal, 
and had sat down to write there, but suddenly feel- 
ing a sudden agitation, died. The Greeks took the 
last will of the Patriarch, and found the following to 
be its contents: ^^ Joseph, by God's grace Archbishop 
of Constantinople, New Rome, and (Ecumenical Pa- 
triarch. Whereas I have attained the limits of my 
life, and shall soon have to pay the universal tribute : 
I do now with God^s help announce my opinion 
to all my children. I do myself confess and agree to 
everything held and taught by the Catholic and Apos- 


tolic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ^ the senior 
Rome. I avow the Pope of the elder Bome^ to be 
the blessed Father of Fathers^ the Supreme Pontiff and 
Vicar of Christ. I certify this before all. I admit 
the Purgatory of souls. In assurance of which it is 
signed^ June 9, indict the 2nd, 1439 year.''^ 

Such is the strange description left to us of the Pa- 
triarch's death and his last will, in the history of Do- 
rotheus ! There are reasons however for doubting the 
truth of this narrative. It is evident from the history of 
Dorotheus, that the Patriarch died on the 10th of June. 
For, describing the events of the last week spent by 
the Greeks in Florence, day by day, he says plainly, 
that, (a) the Greek exposition of the doctrine on the 
Holy Ghost was received by the Pope on Monday, the 
8th of June (rp huTepot, iovvlov oy^oji) ; (j6) that on the 
Tuesday, he, Dorotheus, himself visited the Pope, as 
did the other Bishops also; (y) that, on Wednesday 
(tJI TtToprij) he was again with the Pope and heard 
his last demands, which were afterwards stated to the 
Emperor and the Patriarch {ohravru elvoiJisv olvtco, the 
Emperor, ofjLolaos xat rm nuTpiotpxfi) . Immediately after 
this Dorotheus adds : k<r7repa$ oiv i^vco fjLY}vv[Mi rihiev viiuv, 
Tp auTjf TeripTrj, Aeyov, on IlaTpiig^rjg aTri&uve^ i.e., in the 
evening on the same Wednesday we received the report 
of the Patriarch's death. 

Thus, plainly enough, the Patriarch died on Wednes* 
day, and this Wednesday was the 10th of June. Syro- 
pulus asserts the same. He writes: ^^the Patriarch 
died suddenly, during the evening meal, on the 10th of 
June, in the 2nd indict.''^ The Russian memoirs on 

> Flop. Synod, p. 627—630, 2 gyr. i^. ig, 



the Council refer the Patriarch's death to the 10th day 
of June.^ How then is Joseph's will dated on the 9th 
of June? How then could Dorotheus say, that it was 
written by the Patriarch a very short while before his 
death (r^v vpo ftix^oO yga^elcav yvoof/ktiv) ? How can the 
following words dated the 11th of June, belong to the 

Patriarch : xoti Xoi^ov 6 UuTpioLg^s atredavev hv ^Xoopevrlot 
jxi^vi lovvlep, IvftTi}, IvhuTiaovog hvripa^ ? Dorotheus himself 
mentions having seen the Patriarch alive before dinner 
on the 10th. It is very evident, that the Patriarch's 
will and the incorrect date of his death have been in- 
troduced into Dorotheus' narrative by a later hand, and 
most likely at the time, when Dorotheus' history was 
republished : for in the Latin acts of the Council of 
Florence the Patriarch's death is said to have taken 
place on the 9lh, and not the 10th of June;^ whereas 
Dorotheus' history in its original contained neither the 
Patriarch's writing nor any false statements. 

But, there are other reasons for doubting the authen- 
ticity of the Patriarch's last will. No one present at 
the Council knew anything about it. Syropulus even> 
does not make any mention of it. He writes : '^ The 
Patriarch said, that he would not remain long in Mor 
rence after the signing of the definition {opov), and 
would soon take his departure. Nothing of the sort 
however happened, for he died and was buried before 
the definition was signed."^ Cremistes Pletho and Amirtt" 

1 Kicon^s Annals, r. 145. Stroeff's edition, part u. § 30. In the 
Ancient Bibliotheca, vi. 60, the day of the month is the same, but in- 
stead of June, April Ib named by mistake. 

^ Hist. Chronolog. Patriarcharum Gonstantinopolitanorum in Actis 
SS. Augusti. T. i. p. 185. n. 1119. 

' Syp. ix. 16. 

THE patriarch's WILL A FORGERY. 147 

tiu8, who were both present at the Council, say the 
same. Amirutius writes : " I affirm, that this Council 
is not (Ecumenical, for how can it be called (Ecumenical, 
when the Patriarch of Byzantium suddenly died before 
the signatures were made?"^ Gemistes says: "No 
one will call the Council held in Florence (Ecumenical, 
for the Patriarch of Byzantium did not sign its decrees 
on account of his sudden death.'' If Syropulus had 
known about the above-mentioned will, he would not 
have passed it over in silence, as silent he was not about 
Joseph's other weak actions. If again the Patriarch's 
will was known to Gemistes Pletho and Amirutius, 
then they would not have rejected the dignity of the 
Council of Florence, on account of its decree given in 
the month of July not being signed by the Patriarch 
who died in June ; the more so, if in the last testa- 
mentary act supposed to have been made by him, he had 
really affirmed more than that which was required by the 
definition of faith, namely, agreed to everything taught 
by the Church of Rome. And what reason again was 
there for Joseph to give his opinion, when he was not 
asked for it by the Emperor or Pope, and was him- 
self so carefidly slow in acquiescing to the Papal 
demands? Lastly, why, in the subsequent disputes 
between the Latins and Greeks at the Council, is the 
Patriarch's last Will never referred to, nor is it ever 
mentioned in the Council decree, that the Patriarch had, 
before his death, expressed his fiiU consent to everything 
contained in the definition, whereas mention is made of 
the Patriarchal Vicars ? For all these reasons an im- 
partial history of the Council of Florence cannot look 

^ Allat. de consensu Eccles. p. 908. 
H 2 


upon the Patriarch's will in any other light but that of 
an unsuccessful forgery made by some Greek or Latin 
to allure the Orthodox.^ 

On the next day the Patriarch was buried by the 
Greek Bishops in the presence of the Latin Cardinals 
and Bishops. His body was interred in the Church of 
the Holy Mother of God (S. Marias Novellae), in ihe 
Dominican monastery where the Pope then resided. 

The Patriarch's death apparently made a deep im* 
pression upon the Emperor. Remaining now the only 
support of the Greek Council, he became still more 
obstinate in refdsing the Papal demands, though not 
from having been influenced by the Patriarch during 
his lifetime to a more decisive mode of action, nei- 
ther was it from losing just then a person, who by 
his persuasions had dispelled the many obstacles op- 
posing the quiet reconciliation of the Greeks with the 
Latins. Such persons could always be found round the 
Emperor; so that he was sick of their readiness to 
agree unconditionally to all the Papal demands. No ! 
While Joseph was aUve, the emperor looked upon him 
as the supreme Pastor of the Eastern Church, whose 
duty was to give an account to his Church of all the 
actions of the Greek Bishops at the Council. But now 
that Joseph was dead, the Emperor saw that he was 
himself answerable to the Church for all the intercourse 
held with the Pope. 

'As far as we ^now, this act besides being mentioned in the His- 
tory of the Council, is abo found in Joseph Metho's written objection 
to Mark's epistle. Concil. Flor. t. ii. p. 353. Joseph lived in the second 
lialf of the fifteenth century. Fabr. Eibl. Or, xi. Ed. HarL p. 458. 
A Hat, de consensu, p. 933. 


On the very day of the Patriarch^s faneral^ the Em- 
peror sent to the Pope asking him to bring matters to 
a dose as soon as possible. The Pope calling Bessarion^ 
Isidore^ and Dorotheas of Mitylene^ repeated the de- 
mands^ the fulfilment of which was^ in his opinion in- 
dispensable^ for the peace of the Churches. They^ as 
before^ gave their opinion. But the Emperor was dis- 
satisfied with this^ and invited the whole of the Greek 
Council to discuss the new demands of the Pope 
(June 13). Some of the demands he would not even 
pay attention to^ such as on purgatory and the conse- 
cration of the Host in the Eucharist. The Council was 
asked to decide the questions — on the wafer^ on the 
Pope's authority, and on the addition to the Creed. 
The Cardinals were also invited to the Council, and they 
before anything else turned their attention to subjects 
which had been left out in the list of the subjects 
to be discussed in the Council, wishing to force the 
Greeks to their own opinions. The Emperor would not 
give in, so that two days passed in disputes about 
subjects, on which none of the Greeks wished to dispute. 

At last the Pope invited the Emperor, with several 
Metropolitans, to his own residence, and there en- 
deavoured to persuade them that the settling of the 
proposed questions must, most certainly, be introduced 
into the future Council-decree on the union of Churches- 
At the same time he made them listen to long disserta- 
tions on subjects which had not been as yet discussed in 
the Council. John the provincial treated on the Pope's 
authority, and Ambrose Traversari spoke about the 
consecrated wafer. ^^ All is now settled,'' said the Pope 
at the end of the discussions ; ^^ we have only to write 


the exposition of faith ;'^ and then gave the Emperor a 
list of the subjects to be introduced into the definition^ 
expecting the Greeks to give an answer to them. The 
Emperor would not take the papers^ and only continued 
sayings ^^It is no use our talking any more; the Cardinals 
have said all that Was wanted ; it is time for us to de- 
part/^ Hurt by this answer, the Pope left the assembly 
in great dissatisfaction. The papers were, however, 
taken by the Greeks. 

On looking over the Papal demands at home, the 
principal agents in the cause of the union told the Em- 
peror that they found the demands just and quite con- 
formable with their own ideas.^ But the Emperor, 
having before noticed the adulation paid by them to the 
Pope, lost all his confidence in them. In a private as- 
sembly of his fiishops he complained of the Pope and 
his own coadjutors.^ " See what obstinate persons they 
are,'' said he of the Latins; "they always choose to 
have their own way. I know, however, who favours their 
obstinacy. If some of our own people did not encourage 
the Latins to be as obstinate as possible in their de- 
mands, they would not have used such great efforts to 
obtain our consent to all their proposals.'' At another 
time the Emperor avowed before the Bishops, "that the 
Greeks had already conceded to the Latins more than 
what was right. The Latins ought to be contented, 
and accomplish the union of Churches. But they care 
very little about peace, and only increase the number 
of their demands. If the Pope will not rest contented 
with what we have agreed to, then we have only to hire 
ships of the Florentines and go home." 

1 Syn. Flor. 631, 638. s ^p. x. 8. 


John, dissatiseed with the persons surrounding him, 
tried to win over Mark of Ephesus ; commissioned him 
to make an exposition of the doctrine of the Eastern 
Church on the Eucharist;^ and assembling those Patri- 
archal yicars and Metropolitans who were more inclined 
to the uniouj endeavoured by means of them to persuade 
this firm man to consent to the general union. But 
Mark valued truth beyond all things, and ever remained 
faithful to it.3 

One question beyond the rest could not be settled 
agreeably to both parties, — the question on the authority 
of the Pope. The Pope once more assembled the Eastern 
Bishops to show them the foundation of the oecume- 
nical rights of his throne,— rights and privileges never 
admitted by the East, and at that time even opposed by 
many in the West. While in the Pope's apartments 
the Bishops seemed to be persuaded in the justice of 
his demands; at home, after comparing what they had 
heard with the canons of the Church, they again re- 
tracted their consent and were quite at a loss how to 
agree. After various disputes they, at last, admitted 
all the privileges of the Papal throne, excepting the right 
of convoking (Ecumenical Councils without the Em- 
peror's consent, and that of judging the Patriarchs in 
case of complaint being lodged against them. The Pope 
however rejected these exceptions, declaring that he 
wished to retain all the privileges of his throne, such as 
those of receiving and examining complaints made against 
the Patriarchs, of convoking Councils when he found 
them necessary, of exacting the Patriarchs' Aill sub- 
mission to his will ; in a word, the right of governing 

1 Syr. X. ^ • Syn. Flop. p. 539, 641. 


the whole Church. When the Cardinals announced the 
Pope^s decision to the Emperor, instead of any answer 
he merely said, "Make all the arrangements neces- 
sary for our departure.'^ 

This happened on the eve of the Church anniversary 
of the birth of S. John the Baptist. " The festival/^ 
says Dorotheus of Mitylene, "celebrated with such 
pomp by the Florentines was fast approaching. But we 
were sad at heart, seeing no prospects of an union 
taking place. Nevertheless,^' coolly continues the same 
writer, " God the Provider of all did not forsake us ; 
but raised the Russian, the Nicene, and the Mitylenian, 
with several others, to try what they could do." Some 
of these persons inclined the Pope, and others prevailed 
upon the Emperor to agree to this last step, viz., to 
appoint four persons from among the Greeks and the 
Latins to discuss again upon the disputed subject. And 
though not publicly in the assembly, still the Greeks at 
last agreed to write, that they admitted the Pope as 
Supreme Pontiff, Vicar of Christ Jesus, Pastor and 
Teacher of all Christians, who governs God's Church, 
with the rights and privileges of the Eastern Patriarchs, 
so that the Patriarch of Constantinople is second to 
him; then comes the Patriarch of Alexandria; after 
him that of Antioch ; and lastly, the Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem. In this form the point was admitted by the 
Pope. The object of all his wishes was at length at- 
tained on the 27th of June.^ 

Agreeing on the principal conditions of peace, the 
Latins and Greeks hastened to publish a decree on the 
union of Churches. Deputies from both sides were 

» Syn. Mor. p. 641, 645. 


chosen for this purpose. A dispute^ however^ arose 
at the very beginning of the work. The Latins wanted 
to place the Fope^s name first in the decree. Pa- 
laK>logas for his part demanded his own name to be 
prefixed. At last it was decided to add^ " with the Em- 
peror's consent/' to the Pope's words. Several expres- 
sions in the clause on the Papal authority also gave rise 
to some disputes. The Latins wrote : " The Pope is to 
retain his rights according to the doctrine of Scripture 
and the Holy Fathers.'' The Emperor insisted that 
this expression should be changed. ^^If one of the 
Fathers," he said, " gives the Pope an honourable title, 
does that mean, that he admits the special privileges of 
the Roman Bishop?" After many disputes, the Pope 
at last consented to have the expression changed, so that 
instead of the expression, ^^ according to the words of 
the Fathers," another word was inserted, " according to 
the rules of the (Ecumenical Councils and the Holy 
Fathers." The Latins also found out something in 
the decree which required correcting. The defini- 
tion said: '^retaining all the rights and privileges of 
the four Patriarchates." The Latins wanted the word 
" all," to be omitted. The Greeks would not consent 
to this, and the word " all" was retained. At last when 
both parties found nothing else in the decree wanting 
correction, it was finally transcribed into Greek and 
Latin. Isidore and Bessarion proposed that a list of 
anathemas should be added in the decree against all 
opposing the union ; very likely having Mark of Ephesus 
in view. But the Emperor would not allow this.^ 

* Syn. ilor. p. 647 — 652 ; Syr. x. 5. The decree was written in Latin 
by Ambroae Trayersari and translated into G^reek bj Bessarion. 


The day was fixed^ when the signing of the decree 
should take place. Dorotheas of Mitylene proposed to 
the Pope beforehand, to bribe over some of those who 
had not as yet consented to the union, and bribes were 
in fact resorted to.^ On the 5th of July the whole 
Council of the Easterns assembled in the Emperor's 
palace. The Emperor was the first to sign the decree. 
The Metropolitan of Heraclea was absent on account 
of his illness, but was even obliged to sign the decree in 
his bed. No one thought of disturbing Mark of Ephesos, 
being convinced of his firmness. Isidore, Bessarion, and 
the Protosyncellus, joyfully signed their names. Then 
followed the signatures of the Metropolitans of Monem- 
vasia, Cyzicum, Trebizond, Nicomedia, Tomovo, Mity-p 
lene, Moldovlachia, Amasia, Rhodes, Drystra, Gana, 
Melenicus, Drama, Anchialus, and those of eleven persons 
from the lower grades of the Constantinopolitan clei^. 
The Greeks signed without reading the decree before- 
hand. Its contents were only known to those who had 
drawn it up.^ At all events, most of the Greek Bishops 
conceding to the Pope^s wish, and the Emperor's will, 
gave a written, though reluctant, consent to the unjust 
union. Even those who were not allowed to vote at the 
Council, were now made to sign. Exceptions were only 
made for those who had either died, as the Patriarch 
Joseph, and the Metropolitan of Sardis, or those who 
had managed to get away from Florence, as was 
done by Isaiah of Stauropol and the Bishop of Tver.' 

1 Syr. X. 4. 2 g^j., x. 19. 

3 Syr. ix. 12 ; x. 8. In one of the Qreek manuscripts of the Moscow 
Synodal Library (N. xiii.) among the names signed, we do not find 
those of the Metropolitans of Trebizond and Cyzioum. Most likely 


When all the Greek Bishops^ in the presence of the 
Cardinals^ had affixed their signatures to the Council 
decree^ then the Emperor sent ten of the eldest Bishops 
to witness the signing of the decree by the Pope. Eu- 
genius^ after carefully examining the signatures of the 
Greek Bishops^ asked while himself signed the decree^ 
whether the Ephesian had signed? He was told that 
he had not. '^ Then nothing have we done/' involun- 
tarily exclaimed the Pope. Eight Cardinals signed 
their names after the Pope^ about sixty Bishops^ and a 
good many Abbots.* 

The Pope had named the 6th of July for the solemn 
proclamation of the union. The Emperor, Pope, with 
the Greek and Latin Bishops, assembled in the Cathe- 
dral Church of Florence, followed by a numerous con- 
course of spectators. After the Te Deum, the Cardinal 
Julian and the Metropolitan of Nicsea read in a loud 
voice the Council decree on the union of Churches. 
Julian read in Latin, Bessarion in Greek. In the be- 
ginning of this decree, the Pope invited the whole of 
the Christian world to take part in this great festival, 

this omission is due to the carelessness of the transcriber. We also do 
not find the name of the Bussian Bishop, Abram of Suzdal, who 
accompanied Isidore, anywhere among the Greek signatures; this is 
why Amirutius writes : oUre rod 'Ptotrlas reus ^oypoupais ovyBefi^vov 
(Allat. de consens. p. 908.) But, in the Florentine manuscript of the 
Council acts Abramius* signature is met with. (Vide Sacharoff, Travels 
of Bussians. S. Petersburgh, 1837, pt. 11, page 85.) In the des- 
cription of Isidore's journey it is said, that Abram was forced to sign, 
after haying been imprisoned a whole week by Isidore. At all events, 
it suffices to mention, that about ten original copies of the decree are 
to be found in the West, whereas only five were written at the Council. 
GKeseler, Lehrbuch der Eirchengeschichte. ii. § 544. 
1 Syrop. X. 8, 9. 


and to return grateful thanks to the Lord^ Who, by 
His omnipotent grace, had thrown down the wall, 
which, until now, had separated the Churches, and had 
united them in the firm bonds of love and peace. Then 
followed the exposition of the doctrine on the Procession 
of the Holy Ghost, on the Wafer, Purgatory, and the 
Papal authority, in expressions admitted by the mutual 
consent of the Greeks and Latins. 

After the reading of the act, Julian asked the Latins 
whether they agreed to the decreed The Latins unani- 
mously answered, " We agree, we agree.'^ When the 
same question was made to the Greeks by Bessarion, 
many answered in the same manner, but not all. The 
Archbishop of Nicsea and the Cardinal then embraced 
each other. The festival was concluded by a Liturgy 
officiated according to the Latin rite,^ in which, how- 
ever, not one of the Greek Bishops would take part 
with the Latins, notwithstanding the Pope^s wish, that 
they should ; and none of the Greeks communicated in 
the wafer.2 

Such was the conclusion of peace ; but peace there 
was not. Peace was proclaimed between the Churches, 
and nothing peaceful was there in the spirit of the re- 
conciled parties. Verbally, and in the decree, it was 
admitted, that the Holy Eucharist is alike valid whether 
performed on wafers or on leavened bread; but in fact 
the Greeks refused to receive the Sacrament from the 

^ During the Liturgy, at the time the Pope washed his hands thrice, 
the water was handed the second time by the Bussian enyoy, very likely 
Thomas of Tver ; and this was done at Isidore's demand, from respect, 
as he said, to the dignity of the Bussian Duke. Syr. x. 10. 

2 Syn. Flor. pp. 653—670. 


hands of the Latins^ and their kiss of peace was given 
to each other and not to the Latins ; and the Latins in 
their tum^ as we shall see afterwards^ refused to be pre- 
sent during the Greek Liturgy, The conclusion of 
peace was a joyful event for one party only — the victors. 
On leaving ConstantinoplCj the Greeks hoped to be able 
to persuade the Latins of their secession from the an- 
cient doctrine of faith. Instead of this, they were now 
obliged to avow the Latins in the right, and admit 
themselves to be in the wrong, though in reality the 
truth was on their side. The Latins acceded to nothing ; 
the Greeks were more or less obliged to accede to them 
in everything. The victorious party did not even try to 
soothe the sad feelings of their new brethren. The 
pride of the self-wflled conqueror evinced itself in all 
his intercourse with the newly reconciled party. 

The day after the proclamation of the decree, the 
Emperor sent the Metropolitans of Russia and Nicsea 
to invite the Pope to perform the Greek Liturgy, in 
order that the Latins might become acquainted with 
the rites and ceremonies of the Eastern Church. But 
the Pope refused to do so, pleading his ignorance of the 
order of the Greek Liturgy, and requested that the ser- 
vice should first be performed privately before two or 
three Cardinals. " We shall then be able to see,^^ said 
the Pope, "whether we can approve of your service, 
and allow the solemn performance of the Liturgy to 
take place.^' This proud answer deeply offended the 
Emperor. " We had hoped,^^ he said, " to correct the 
errors of the Latins. * And now I see, that the Latins, 
who have erred in mauy respects, wish to correct us, 
who have in no ways cl^anged the ancient rules.'' Since 


then^ the Emperor never again expressed his wish to 
have the Liturgy performed by the Pope.^ 

Soon after this, the Pope proposed eleven questions 
to the Greeks, concerning the oflSce of the Holy Eucha- 
rist, the Holy Chrism, divorces, and the election of the 
Patriarch. Regarded now as the head of the Church 
(Ecumenical, he thought himself to have the right of 
demanding from the Greeks a strict observance of the 
rules of the Church of Bome. Dorotheus, Metropolitan 
of Mitylene, as he himself says, gave satisfactory an- 
swers to all the Latin questions, except two :-— on 
divorces, and the election of the Patriarch. The 
Pope addressed these questions to the Emperor. He 
asked him why the Greeks allow divorces, quite con- 
trary to the plain words of our Lobd. He next de- 
manded that the Greek Bishops should choose a Patri** 
arch from out of the Bishops present at the Council, 
and that, too, before they left Florence. " We have,'' 
said the Pope, '^ the Patriarch of Constantinople chosen 
by us from the Latins, a man of noble birth, honest, 
rich, and very old.^ He has not long to live. If you 
choose him for your Patriarch, your Church will then 
inherit his riches. If you have already elected one 
from your own, I am ready to confirm your choice, 
and withdraw my own candidate.^' This demand was 
followed up by another, that Mark of Ephesus should 
be given up to be judged as an obstinate opponent of 
the union and the decree. 

The Emperor answered the Pope through his Bishops, 

1 Syr. X. 11. 

3 This was the Cardinal Franciscus Condohnier, nephew to the Pope. 
Chaloedon, L. vi. p. 159 ; Le Q.uien, Or..Chr. t. iiL pp. 834, 835. 


that the Eastern Church has sufScient reasons for 
allowing divorces ; he positively refused to name a Pa- 
triarch while in Florence, for, according to the custom 
of oldj the Patriarch of Constantinople must be elected 
with the consent of all the dioceses under his jurisdic- 
tion, and ordained in the Cathedral Church of Con- 
stantinople. And as to Mark of Ephesus, the Emperor 
said, that he, being a Metropolitan of the Eastern 
Church, could be judged only by Eastern Bishops.^ 

But^ when the Pope persisted in demanding that the 
election of the Patriarch should take place in Florence, 
and asked the Emperor to send Mark to him, to receive 
at least a private reprimand, John, at Gregory's advice 
(Gregory, the almoner, feared that Isidore would be 
elected Patriarch), sent off some of the eldest Metropo- 
litans to Venice, and then told the Pope that, in the 
absence of some of the Bishops, the election to the Pa- 
triarchate could not take place. Mark of Ephesus came 
to the Pope, who met him with reproaches and threats, 
reminding him of the punishments appointed by the 
(Ecumenical Councils for those who should dare to dis- 
obey their decrees. But the undaunted defender g[ 
Orthodoxy gave a decisive answer. ''The Councils/' 
said he, ''sentenced those who would not obey the 
Church, and kept to opinions contrary to her doctrine. 
I express not my own opinions, I introduce nothing 
new into the Church, neither do I defend any errors. 
But I steadfastly preserve the doctrine which the 
Church, having received from Christ our Saviour, has 
ever kept and keeps. This doctrine was also adhered 
to by the Church of Rome unanimously with that of 

• 1 Synod. Flor.pp. 670—675 : Syp. x. 12. 


the East^ until the beginning of the division. This 
doctrine you yourselves have ever approved of before, 
and have often praised, even in the time being of this 
Council. And who can slander, or put down this doc-* 
trine? If I stand steadfast in this doctrine, and do not 
wish to reject it, who dares to judge me as a heretic ? 
You must first judge the doctrine I defend ; but if that 
is received unanimously as being holy and orthodox, 
how is it, then, that I merit judgment?'^ The Pope 
was obliged to admit inwardly that there was no hope 
of dissuading Mark from his opinion, and bade him 

As the Papal demands were not attended to, so also 
those of the Emperor remained unanswered. This can 
serve as an evident proof how little there was of sin- 
cerity and real desire of reconciliation in both parties 
with regard to the imion. Though the Emperor did 
avow the Pope head of the Church (Ecimienical, and 
ordered his name to be mentioned in the Liturgy,^ still 
he did not forget to assert the rights of the Eastern 
Church to some lands unjustly appropriated by the 
Church of Rome. The Pope was told that as peace of 
old was restored to the Churches, so also ought the 
former boundaries of the dioceses of both the Churches 
to be restored just as they were before the division of 
Churches took place. For this reason the Churchea on 
the Islands of Rhodes, Corfu, and others, unjustly ap- 
propriated by the Church of Rome, were to be returned 

1 Syr. X. 15, 16. Ducas, the Byzantine historian, though inclined to- 
wards the Latins, still notices very justly that Mark is Koofifv Koi ardjBfAri 
itirap^KraroSf c. xxxi. p. 119. 

2 Syr. X. 12. 


to the Constantinopolitan throne. Besides this^ the 
Emperor^ at the petition of the Metropolitans of Mo- 
nemvasia^ Rhodes^ Mitylene^ and several others^ showed 
the Pope the necessity of recalling the Latin Bishops 
from these dioceses. " The Church of Rome/' said the 
Metropolitans, " must enforce the holy laws, which pro- 
hibit two Bishops to preside in one diocese, and also the 
ordination of any Bishop in a diocese not under the 
jurisdiction of the Bishop ordaining.'* 
' The Pope made no answer to this demand of the 
Emperor. With regard to the recalling of the Latin 
Bishops from the Greek dioceses, he answered : " Where- 
as now, after the restoration of peace in the Church, 
there is no more disagreement between the Latin and 
Greek Bishops, — ^it would be unjust to dismiss either 
the Greek or the Latin Bishops from dioceses now 
under their jurisdiction, but it were better to leave 
matters as they are. Let two Bishops sit on one throne, 
but when the Latin dies, then let the Greek Bishop 
alone rule the diocese, and his successors be chosen by 
the Eastern Church. In the same manner, if the Greek 
Bishop dies before the Latin, then let the survivor 
alone sit on the throne, which from that time will be 
reckoned as being under the jurisdiction of the Church 
of Eome.''^ Such a decision of course could not satisfy 
the just demands of the Greek Bishops, and was be- 
sides a dangerous one for the Eastern Church. *' The 
Pope's decision, however," says Syropulus, "was only 
a verbal one, and was never followed out." 

Prom all the events subsequent to the union of 
Churches, one could well conclude as to the results it 

» Syp. X. 14. 


would have for the fature. The Emperor sought and 
adhered to the union^ simply in hopes of the aid pro- 
mised for his unfortunate empire. 

On the 6th of July Pope Eugenius was recognised by 
the Greeks at the Council of Florence as head of the 
Church : whereas ten days previous (June 25) the 
Council of Basle having repeated the ancient decree on 
the superiority of (Ecumenical Councils over the Pope, 
had passed judgment upon Eugenius as a heretic for 
not agreeing to the truth of this decree, and had de- 
throned him. The Greeks left the Pope to manage as 
best he could with this Council and the other Pope 
elected at Basle. Isidore alone, with a few others, 
remained in Florence until (Sept. 4) Eugenius had pub- 
licly in the Cathedral hurled his anathemas and inters 
dictions at the Council of Basle.^ On the 18th of 
December, the Pope elected Isidore and Bessarion to 
the rank of Cardinals, as a reward for their zeal in 
the cause of the union. Besides this honour Isidore 
was named Legate a latere in Poland, Livonia, and 

The rest of the Greeks had already left the Council 
in the month of July. Those who had gone away the 
earliest, were obliged to wait for the Emperor in 
Venice, as he left Florence in the end of August (26th) .^ 
Mark of Ephesus accompanied him, and his comforts 
were attended to by the Emperor himself during the 
whole of his journey.* The Pope blessed the Em- 

* Ant. BibHoth. vi. § 44. 

^ The Papal ypdfifia to Isidore, republished in t. L of the Hist. 
Kussiffi Monumenta. No. 121. 

3 Syn. Flor. p. 676 j Syr. x. 17 ; Ant. Bibl. vi. § 44. 

4 Syr. xi. 2. 


peror^ and promised to send out a fleet and army to 
Constantinople, if only the European monarelis would 
agree to help him. Three Cardinals and many pre- 
lates accompanied the Emperor as far as the frontiers 
of Tuscany. The Emperor arrived in Venice with his 
suite on the 6th of September. 

Before the Emperor's arrival, Metrophanes, Metro- 
politan of Cyzicum, while celebrating the Liturgy in one 
of the Venetian monasteries, dared to mention the Pope's 
name in the service, but was then at the time reproved 
by the other Metropolitans and the Despot, who were 
present. The Emperor wishing to accede to the Doge's 
wish of seeing the Greek service, could prevail on the 
Metropolitan of Heraclea alone to officiate in the Church 
of S. Mark, and that too after many entreaties. The 
Metropolitan consented at last, but performed the ser- 
vice on the Greek antimensia, and with the Greek com- 
munion plate; the Pope's name was not mentioned and 
the Creed was read without the Filioque clause.^ 

The Emperor left Venice on the 19th of October with 
his brother, the Bishops, and other Greeks, in two 
merchant vessels. The orthodox inhabitants of Cor&, 
Methone in the Peloponnesus, Euboea, places where there 
were both Latin and Greek Bishops, on hearing the 
results of the Council from the Greeks, made no cere- 
mony in showing their discontent with the union. 
" Until now," said they to the Greeks, " we could de- 
fend our faith and customs against the Latins, but now 
we must silently obey them in everything." The poor 
travellers, who had been away two years from their 
homes, arrived in Constantinople on the 1st of February, 

* Syp. xi. 1—4. 


1440. As an addition to their sorrow, the Emperor 
and the Despot on returning to their respective homes 
and families, found themselves widowers.^ 



Union by the Orthodox Eabtesn Ghitsoh. 

As soon as the travellers stepped on shore, the inhabit- 
ants of Constantinople assailed the Bishops with ques- 
tions : " How did the Council end ? Have we gained 
the victory?^' Those, who had been forced to the 
union, or had joined it from interested motives, but 
had not as yet lost all conscience of their crime, did 
not conceal the truth. Feeling themselves now at 
liberty in their native land, amidst their orthodox breth- 
ren, they answered with heartfelt sorrow: ^^We have 
sold our faith, we have exchanged Orthodoxy for hetero- 
doxy, and losing our former pure faith have become 
azymites. May our hands, which signed the unjust 
decree be cut oflf! May our tongues which have spoken 
consent with the Latins be plucked out 1^^^ These were 
the first words of the good but weak Pastors — ^Anthony of 
Heraclea, the oldest members of the Council, and others. 
Such news made a terrible impression on the orthodox 
townspeople. Every one avoided the new arrivers, and 
those who had anything to do with them. The clergy 

» Syr. xi. 5—10. « Ducas. c. xxxi. p. 120, 121. Ed. 1649. 


who had remained in Constantinople would not even 
agree to officiate with those^ who^ repenting of their 
consent to the union^ declared that they were forced 
to it n 

The Emperor^ who had never felt a real inclination 
to act in the cause of the Latins^ and now dissatisfied 
with the Fope^ grieving about the loss of his wife^ and 
troubled by the public discontent with the union^^ would 
not for a long time occupy himself with Church afiairs. 
Three months had elapsed since the return of the Greeks, 
and the Church of Constantinople had still no Patriarch. 
At last the Emperor ordered the proper persons to think 
about the election of the Patriarchy an election the more 
necessary, as the disorders among the clergy were every 
day getting more and more violent. Then arose the 
question, ^^ whom to elect ?" Was the Patriarch to be 
chosen from out of those, who had shown the most zeal 
in the cause of the union, or from out of the defenders 
of Orthodoxy ? The election of the Patriarch was to 
settle the lot of the union proclaimed in Florence. The 
Emperor, though little inclined to favour the Latins, 
would not however break his alliance with Borne. This 
was the reason of his not choosing Bessarion or any 
other zealot in the cause of the union, but demanded 
at the same time that the person chosen should be an 
upholder of the union. 

The proposal of the Patriarchal throne was first made 
to Mark of Ephesus, the firm defender of Orthodoxy, 
and on his refusal of this dignity, as must have been 

^ Syr. xii 1 ; Coll. Cruci. Turco-Gbwcia. 1. i. 

s For in many Churches the Emperor's name was even omitted from 
the service. Syr. xii. 2. 


expected, three candidates were then chosen from out 
of those, who had been at the Council and signed the 
act of union ; namely, Anthony of Heraclea, Dorotheus 
of Trebizond, and Metrophanes of Cyzicus. But An- 
thony and Dorotheus, as they rejected the union, so 
also did they reject the profiFered honour. Anthony 
addressing the Council, said : ^^ I have come here not 
to be elected, but to disburden my conscience before 
the Council, a thing I stand in need of very much. I, 
as you yourselves know, did not agree with those, who 
approved of the union, but I did sign the decree, though 
involuntarily. And since then has my conscience con- 
stantly smitten me. Bowed down with remorse, I have 
been seeking an opportunity of throwing this weight 
off my soul. I thank God, that He has spared me 
to see you all together in the assembly, and that now I 
can free myself of my burden by telling you all I wished 
to say. I repeat therefore, that I reject the union, that 
I find the Florentine decree contrary to the ancient 
tradition of the Holy Catholic Church, and give myself 
over to be judged by the Church, as guilty of having 
signed that which ought not to have been signed.'' 

After this, Metrophanes was chosen, who at the desire 
of the royal oflScers gave a written promise of upholding 
the Florentine union. He ascended the Patriarchal 
throne on the 4th of May, 1440. 

Though the promise given by Metrophanes was made 
in secret, — ^though even at that time there was no men- 
tion made of publishing the decree of the Florentine 
Council, or of inserting the Pope's name in the service, 
— still the very election itself of Metrophanes, who had 
shown himself a traitor in Venice by his servile adula> 


tion before the Pope; the unceremonious bearing to-^ 
wards him of the bishop present at his ordination as 
the Papal representative; then^ again^ the disappoint- 
ment of the general expectation, that the new Patriarch 
would put affairs into their former order ; all this toge- 
ther served to alienate most of the orthodox from the 
Patriarch. Many of the bishops would not officiate 
tc^ether with him; and when the Emperor tried to 
compel them to do so^ Mark of Ephesus and Anthony 
of Heraclea secretly left Constantinople^ (May 14.) 

After this, the Emperor began to act with still greater 
care, especially when his brother Demetrius, who had 
not received the Florentine union, availing himself of 
the coolness of the people to the Emperor for favouring 
the Latin Church, openly opposed him; so that the 
Pope accused John of weakness and indifference to the 
cause of the union,^ and Metrophanes positively threat-^ 
ened to leave his throne. 

At the Emperor's persuasion, however, remaining 
where he was, he began to act in favour of the union, 
appointing his friends to the vacant dioceses; and when 
Demetrius again made friends with the Emperor, he 
urgently demanded a complete union with the Church 
of Borne, by right of the decree passed in Florence. 
But at the time when the Bishops were assembling in 
Constantinople, to discuss the means of bringing the 

* Syr. sii. 2, 5. Compare with chap. ii. Among the works of Mark 
is one entitled, De Fug& ;ne&. Fabr. xi. p. 675. 

' In a letter to Constantino, another brother of the Emperor, of whom 
the Pope had received more &tTourable accounts from his Bishop in 
Constantinople the Pope wrote : '* In e& causa (unione) per oaris- 
Bunum in Christo filium nostrum Johannem Palseologum Bomanorum 
Imperatorem haotenus satis tenue et tepide est processum." 



{4^8 to pass^ Metrophanes died.^ (Aug. 1^ 1448.) 
The^atriarch^s death seemed to justify the severe sen- 
tence "wbich had been pronounced over his actions in 
Jerusalem by the other three Patriarchs. 

The Eastern Patriarchs abeady knew of the different 
Latin plans for gaining over the Greeks, from a letter 
written by Joseph, the Patriarch of Constantinople, 
either in Florence or Perrara. After being informed by 
the Pope of the termination of the various discussions, 
they soon received an invitation from him to join the 
union of Churches agreed to at Florence, in which he 
carefully concealed the conditions under which the 
union took place. The Patriarchs came to know of 
these conditions from those who had returned from 
Italy. Burning with zeal for Orthodoxy, notwithstand- 
ing its persecution by the Turks, one of these pastors of 
the East answered the Pope, saying, that he was ready 
to enter into union with the Church of Rome, if that 
Church receives all ancient decrees of the (Ecumenical 
Councils, and the doctrines confirmed by them and the 
Holy Fathers. " On this condition,'* he wrote, '' we 
receive the Council of Florence, and do not refuse to 
mention the Pope^s name in the service. In case of 
the contrary, we reject the Council j we sentence the 
bishops and clergy who receive it to be degraded frora 
their rank, and the laymen to be excommunicated.'' 
Not satisfied with this, the same Eastern Patriarch 
wrote to the Emperor John :^ "If you have given way 

1 Syr. lii. 11. 

' This letter is written in December of the 6th indict, which cor- 
responds to the year 1442. The Patriarch's name is not mentioned in 
the epistle, which is found in Allat. de consen. pp. 942 — ^945. 


to the Latins for a time only^ in hopes of receiving 
their aid for the empire^ and do now reject their doc- 
trine and return to the orthodox faith of your royal 
ancestors^ then we will pray for the salvation of the 
empire^ and especially for thy soul^ that the Lord may 
pardon you all your sins. But if you will be obstinate^ 
and defend a doctrine strange to our Churchy then not 
only will we leave off remembering you in our prayers, 
but will sentence you to a strict epitimia, in order 
that the disease of the strange and dangerous doctrine 
should not circulate further in Chbist^s Church. We 
cannot rule the Orthodox Church as hirelings ; but for 
Chbist^s and His GospeFs sake we are ready to lay 
down our souls, bodies, blood, all that we have here on 

A few months afterwards all the three Eastern Pa- 
triarchs assembled in Jerusalem ; and having been in- 
formed by Arsenius, Metropolitan of Csesarea, of the 
Metropolitans and Bishops ordained by Metrophanes 
from among the Latins, pronounced judgment over the 
unworthy pastors, and proclaimed them deprived of all 
Church dignities till a Council should have examined 
their orthodoxy. Giving full powers to Arsenius for 
acting conformably with their decision throughout the 
whole of the East, the Patriarchs — Philotheus of Alex- 
andria, Dorotheus of Antioch, and Joachim of Jeru- 
salem — wrote in their patriarchal letter : ^^ The Metro- 
politan of Csesarea of Cappadocia has informed us of 
the disorders occasioned by the lawless Council of 
Florence in Constantinople; a Council in which the 
Greeks received the Latin dogmas contrary to the 
ancient canons of the Orthodox Church. The same 


Metropolitan informed ma, that Metrophanes of Cyzi* 
cum^ who hath nnlawftilly usurped the Constantino* 
politan chair, doth distribute dioceses in the Constant 
tinopolitan Patriarchate and in all the East to fads 
associates^ who corrupt their fold by their false doGr 
trine^ and sow temptations in Christ's Church. Wheret 
fore we, in the name of the yiviiying and inseparaU^ 
Trinity^ do through this Council declare to all Mer 
tropolitans^ Bishops, and others of the clergy ordained 
by Metrophanes, that they^ for partaking of this heresy, 
are deprived of their right of ofSciating, of all their 
ecclesiastical degrees, until their faith shall be examined 
by the (Ecumenical Council. Should they not obey 
our decree, and voluntarily leave their places, which 
they occupy unlawfully, let them then be excomma« 
nicated by the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity, both 
they, and those who think together with them.'' Giv- 
ing the Metropolitan of Caesarea the right of carry- 
ing out this decree, the Patriarchs also gave him full 
powers to preach publicly against the unjust union, to 
expose and correct all the heterodox thinkers. The 
decree was published in April, 1443.^ 

Mark of Ephesus, the aged defender of Orthodoxy, 
weighed down by age and illness, but strong in spirit, 
was not silent also. In his circulars to all Christians, 
he conjured them to depart from the Florentine union, 
as one offensive to God ; vividly representing the ad- 
mixture of the old with the new, of the orthodox and pa- 
tristical with what was newly invented by the Latinizing 
Greeks, and offered his own confession of faith, founded 

^ In the same indict as the preceding one. It is found in Allat. de 
consensu, pp. 939 — 941. 


on the pure doctrine of the Church.* '' These people/^ 
he wtcfte, *^ admit with the Latins that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds firom the Son, and derives His existence from 
Him; for so says their definition, and at the same 
time they say with us that the Spirit proceeds &om 
the Father. With the Latins, they think the ad- 
dition made to the Creed hiwful and just; and with 
us will not pronounce it. With them they say that 
aEymes are the Body of Christ, and with us dare not 
communicate on them. Is not this sufficient to show 
that they came to the Latin Council, not to investigate 
the truth, which they once possessed and then betrayed, 
but simply to earn some gold, and attain a false and not 
a true union ? False : for they read two creeds, as they 
did before; perform two different liturgies, one on 
leavened, the other on unleavened bread ; two baptisms, 
one by the trine immersion, and the other by aspersion 
— one with the holy chrism, the other without it. In 
like manner all other customs are different with them^ 
e. g., fasts, church rites, &c. What sort of union is 
this, then, when it has no external sign? How could 
they join together, retaining each his own? Many 

^ We know of the (a) cirenlttr epistle of Mark, in which he states hisj 
opimaii of the Council of Florence. It is published with the objections 
written by Joseph of Metho in the Acts of the Council of Florence, t. ii. 
pp. 274, 361. (6.) Another epistle, with the same contents, published 
together with the objection written by Gregory the Protosynoellus, pp. 
362, 475. (c.) The confession of Mark of Ephesus, first prepared by 
him to be presented to the Council of Florence^ and then published in a 
more enlarged form. It is preserved in Greek in manuscripts. Objec- 
tions were also written against it by Gregory ; they only prove that 
Marie's words were very dangerous for his opponents. Conf. Fabr. Bibl. 
Gnec. Ed. Harles. xL p. 398, 673, et seq. 

I 2 


were tempted by the idea," Mark continued, ^' that one 
can find a medium between tw6 doctrines. True : one 
can find such expressions which, having a double mean- 
ing, could at the same time express something between 
the two doctrines. But a doctrine midway between 
two contrary doctrines on the same subject is impos- 
sible; for in this case it must be something between 
truth and falsehood, between an affirmation and a nega-* 
tion. Thus, if the Latin doctrine of the Spirit's pro** 
cession from the Son is just, then ours is false. What 
middle doctrine can there be here ?'' In the end of his 
epistle Mark wrote, "Avoid, brethren^ such teachers, 
and all communion with them. They are false apos- 
tles, workers of evil transformed into Apostles of 
Christ. . . ^ It is not the Lord Jesus they serve, but 
their own bellies, and seduce the hearts of the inno- 
cent by their sweet words and blessings. You know 
what the Apostles command us to do: ^Though an 
angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you 
than that which we have preached unto you, let him be 
accursed.' (Gal. i. 8.) And Christ's beloved disciple 
says, ■ If there come any unto you, and bring not this 
doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid 
him God speed : for he that biddeth him God speed is 
partaker of his evil deeds.' (2 S. John 10, 11.) Keep, 
then, to the traditions received by you, both those which 
^re written and not written, so as not to lose your own 
security by giving way to evil doctrines."^ 

Mark's words and influence had a great effect both 
on the ignorant and plain, and on the learned, inclin- 
ing them to the defence of Orthodoxy. So George 

> Synod. Mor. t. ii. p. 369, et seq. 


Scholarius^ who for a time inclined towards the Latins^ 
was now confirmed by Mark in the true faith^ and 
afterwards became one of its most zealous defenders.^ 
Without Mark of Ephesus, none of those, who had re- 
jected the union would enter into any disputes with 
their opponents.^ Following Mark^s example, his brother 
John Eugenicus wrote a refutation of the Florentine 
decree ;^ Syropulus put all the actions of the Council in 
their true light; in like manner Amirutius represented, 
though briefly, the secret motives of the Greeks for in- 
clining to the union with the Church of Rome.* An- 
other philosopher, Gemistes Pletho, who had defended 
the orthodox doctrine at the Council, also published a 
defence of the orthodox doctrine on the procession of 
the Holy Ghost.^ 

Thus, we see, that from all sides voices were raised 
against the Florentine union. The Emperor however 
retained the same relations to the Orthodox and the 
Church of Rome. Brooding on his favourite idea of 
throwing off the Turkish yoke, he had already entered 
into negotiations with the Pope and Yladislaus, the 

^ A letter is preserved ^m Mark to Gfeorge Scholarius, in which he 
reproves him for his unnecessary readiness to admit the reconciliation 
of Churches. See Fabr. Bibl. Grsec. Ed. Harles, t. xi. pp. 364, 365. 
The same is testified by Manuel the Rhetorician in his work on " Mark 
of Ephesus, and the Florentine Council." Manuscript of the Synod. 
Library, n. 396. 

3 See the words of the Chartophylax Michael Balsamon in his report 
to the Emperor John PaUeologus. Allat. de cons. p. 924. 

^ Published by Dositheus, Fatr. of Jerusalem, iy T6fMf KardWayris. 

* Extracts from his epistle to Demetrius, Duke of Nauplia, in AHat. 
de consens. p. 882, and other places. 

' Fabr. Bibl. Gt»c. Ed. Harles, t. xii. p. 100. Extracts are published 
Iby AUat. de consens. p. 908, and other places. 


King of Hungary^ concerning the mutual concentration 
of forces against the Ottoman Empire. Their plans had 
been to cause a revolt against Amurath in Asia Minor, 
and by alluring him there with the best part of his 
forces^ to cut off his return to Europe by means of a 
powerful fleet, and then retake all the towns in his 
European dominions. The Pope had already invited 
the European Monarchs to aid the unfortunate Greeks. 
Cardinal Csesarini persuaded Yladislaus to break a treaty 
of peace concluded by him a year ago with AmuraS 
the space of ten years. The fleet arrived in the Helles- 
pont. But Amurath managed to return firom Asia, and 
even to rout Yladislaus' army under Varna (Nov. 10, 
1444.) Yladislaus himself and Cardinal Csesarini fell 
in this battle.^ So vanished all the hopes placed in the 
union, which God had not blessed ! 

But even after this, John still could not make up his 
niind to break all his relations with the Pope. For 
about three years the Church of Constantinople had no 
Patriarch after the death of Metrophanes, and the vacant 
see was given to Gregory Mammae the Emperor's con* 
fessor, and one of the most active causes of the Floren- 
tine union. He himself wrote objections to Mark's 
writings,^ and began a dispute in Constantinople be- 
tween the principal def^ders of Orthodoxy and the 
Latin litterati.^ The Pope named him for his zeal in 

* Le beau Livr. 118, § 5-^16. 

2 Gregory's objections were mentioned aboye. Besides this Gregory 
sent a defence of the Latin doctrine to the Emperor of Trebizond ; Or- 
thod. Gh*8ec. 1. 1, p. 419, 468, and asked Bessarion to write some objec- 
tions to MarVs syllogisms against the Latin doctrines. Fabr. xi. p. 8d4. 

3 The controyersy of Mark of Ephesos and George Scholarius witii 
Bartholomew, Bishop of Gorone, is well known. It is mmtioned by 


the Latin cause^ Patriarch also of the Latin party then 
IB Constantinople.^ But notwithstanding all his efforts^ 
as the Pope himself writes^ he could not proclaim and 
enact the decree passed in Florence.^ So strong was 
the aversion of the clergy and people to the Latin union^ 
which was attained at the sacrifice of Orthodoxy ! The 
Bishops and clergy of Constantinople demanded^ that 
an (Ecumenical Council should be held in Constanti- 
nople itself to terminate all the evil caused by the ad- 
herents of the union.3 But the Emperor John died 
(Oct. 31^ 1448) before he had time to satisfy these de- 
Anthony the Florentine in his manuscript of the year 1445. See Zoer- 
nikoff, p. 1042. The results of this dispute were two books of Schola- 
rius " on the procession of the Holy Ghost.'* Both were originally 
written for the Emperor of Trebizond. The first was published in Greek 
in London, 1624, though under another name : 'Xhyrceyiia, hnypa/^6fjifVQii 
'Op6o96^ov Kvrat^^iov. The other is preserved in manuscript. See Fabr. 
BibL Gr»c. xi. 384, et seq. 392. Le Quien, Dissert. Damasc. i. p. 80. 
On Bartholomew, Bishop of Corone, see Le Quien, Or. Chr. t. iii. p. 
900 et 1040. 

^ Le Quien, Or. Chr. t. iiL p. 886. So Pope Pius 11. writes, giving 
Isidore, the once Bussian Metropolitan, the title of Patriarch of Con* 
stantinople (in 1459) after Ghregory's death. 

2 Pope Nicholas Y. wrote in 1451 to the Smperor Oonstantine Pal»- 
ologus : Et ecoe jam tot anni transiere, ex quo ista facta sunt, et tameu 
i^d Gtsbcos uniontM hujusmodi decretum silentio iegitur, neo ulla spes 
filacet ut yioletur, qui ad hano unionem amplectendam dispositi esse 
Tideantur. Zoemikof^ p. 1046. 

3 See the reports (htfcfufHtpd) of the Bishops and clergy of Constanti- 
nople printed in the book of Nestorius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, on the 
Papal authority, in Jasses, 1682, pp. 233, 236. The time of this report 
can be determined by the following circumstances : (a.) the opinion of 
the Eastern Patriarchs about the union was already known ; (b.) Con- 
stantinople had its own Patriarch, whom the Bishops and clergy wished 
to prove his Orthodoxy. This might have been either during the latter 
period of Mefcrophanes* administration or else in the time of Grego];y. 


mands ; at all events before his death he rejected all 
union with the Church of Rome.^ At last the inner- 
most wishes of the orthodox pastors and people were 
fulfilled. A year and a half after Constantine's acces- 
sion to the throne of Byzantium^ three Eastern Patri- 
archs in whose name^ though without their consent^ the 
Florentine unorthodox ^^ decree^^ was signed, viz., Philo- 
theus of Alexandria, Dorotheus of Antioch and Theo- 
phanes of Jerusalem, assembled in Constantinople with 
many Metropolitans and Bishops to quiet the disturbed 
Church. Assembling a Council in the Church of S. So- 
phia in Constantinople, they deprived Gregory Mamma 
of his patriarchal throne and appointed the Orthodox 
Athanasius in his place, and then in the name of all the 
Eastern Church rejected the decree of the Council of 
Florence which they convicted as having acted contrary 
to the orthodox faith, and accused the Church of Rome 
of many digressions from the ancient rules, and rites of 

^ As a proof of this we can adduce^ — ^besides the testimony brought 
forward by Zoemikoff from the Acts of the Council of Constantinople^ 
1450 and 1451, (Zoemikoff, p. 1044), — ^the very words of George 8eko» 
larius (adr. the addition to the Creed), quoted by the Patriarch Bosi- 
theus, in his history of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, (B^k 10, pt. 1, c. 18, 
§ 9) : " With regard to this John, we know very well, how he reasoned 
about his affairs in Florence, and how attentiye he was to our answers ; 
how he forced no one, and wished us to preserve the doctrine of the 
Fathers ; approved of those who did this and despised all who thought 
contrary. We are all witnesses of this ; every one of us has heard ^^» 
from his own lips. At the beginning though, he, fearing when there 
was no cause to fear, — ^would not aUow the public performance of fhift 
act so saving for the soul." (p. 982.) Manuel the Rhetor plainly attri- 
butes the return of John Palseologus to Orthodoxy to the persuasion of 
Markof Ephesus : rohs fthf ivavaicrnffAfifiios, kolL aMv 8^a rhw uX64ir^iM 
BoffiKia, Cod. Mo. Synod. Bibl. sec. oataL Math»L n. 393, p. 119. 


the Church CBcumenical.^ Gregory soon after this left 
as a fugitive for Rome (August, 1451.) 

One could have hoped that now peace would have 
been quite reinstated in the Constantinopolitan Church. 

^ Allatius is the first to giye information of the acts of this Council in 
tile addition to his book : de Ecclesife Orientalis et Occidentalis perpeta& 
eonsensione, pp. 1380, 1389. AUatius doubted the yaliditj of this 
Gounci], finding some anachronisms and contradictions in its acts, with 
contemporary history. Afterwards the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Dosi- 
theus, pubUshed the acts of this Council in his work : T({/ios &7(£in}s, in 
a more corrected form, and in his History of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem 
refuted the objections of Allatius. (T. ii book 10, ch. ix. pp. 915 — ^917.) 
In the same way Zoemikofi^, not knowing of a more correct copy of 
these acts, also tried to solve Allatius* objections. (T. ii. pp. 1052 — 
1058). ISoud misunderstandings are not all cleared up, and very likely 
the reason of this is, that the original copy of these acts, as is said in 
its title page, is taken not from the church codex, but from a prirate 
library of Constantine Lascaris, most likely in a shorter and not quite 
correct form. This helps to explain why at the Council Macarius of 
Nicomedia calls the MetropoUtan of Kieff Dorotheus, whereas Jonah 
was then MetropoUtan of Kieff and All Bussia. Here we will only notice, 
that (a.) the Eastern Patriarchs in the ypdfi/ia given to the Metropolitan 
Arsenius in April, 1443, had remanded the examination of the Orthodoxy 
of theBishops ordained by Metrophanes until the time of the CEcumenical 
Council (&XP*^ ^ Heratr&p ri cdcr^jBcia Koivm re icod oiKoviieviKus) ; (b.) 
that the Bishops and clergy of Constantinople in their report (aywt>opa) 
to the Emperor also showed the necessity of calling the Eastern Patri- 
urchs to a Council in Constantinople, and promised to write to them, 
{Neicraplov, p. 235) ; (c.) that Amirutius writes, that the Eastern Patri- 
archs present at the Council rejected the signatures of their vicars (Oi 
HarpiApx^ "f"^^ ^oypw^^s rwv oU^lcov iirirp6iro»if €l\6yws Kol <rvpoSiKws 
1l0fniaray. Allat. de cons. Eccl. p. 682.) We know of no other Council 
in which this was done, but the Council of Constantinople, 1450 and 
1451. (d.) That though the name of the Patriarch Athanasius, elected 
in place of Gregory, is not mentioned, in the contemporary Byzan- 
tine manuscripts, still we do often meet with a name like his, viz., 
Anastasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the Bussian narrative of the 
fjEiU of Constantinople. (Nicon's Manuscr. t. v.) 



Bui Constantine wishing to save his throne^ to defend 
which he had hardly five thousand soldiers of his own^ 
again tamed for aid to the Pope^ and by this caused 
new disorder in the Churchy which terminated with 
the fall of the very Empire. The new Commander of 
the Turks^ — the harsh and ambitious Mahomet 11.^ 
immediately on his accession to the throne^ (Feb. 5th^ 
1451) — commenced planning the conquest of Constant- 
tinople. Constantine was struck with terror on hearing 
this, and sent ofiF an embassy to Kome petitioning help, 
promising to fulfil the Florentine treaty^ and even in- 
j^ting Gregory to return to Constantinople. 

When this became known^ the defenders of Ortho- 
doxy were sorely taken aback. George Scholarius then 
stood at their head (he was called Gennadius on receiv- 
ing tonsure). Mark had already passed into eternity^ 
and before his death had bequeathed to his friend the 
keeping of the ancient Orthodoxy.^ Gennadius^ who 
then lived in the monastery of the All-possessing God, 
when preaching a sermon during the Emperor's visit to 
the monastery^ tried to dissuade him from an union 
with the Church of Rome, which in fact was hardly of 

> Gennadius pronounced a panegyric oyer the body of this yeneroble 
&ther (Fabr. xi. p. 392), and Mark's brother, John Eugenicus, com- 
posed a tertfice for the annirersary of his death (ibid. p. 653). Nesto- 
rius, Patriarch of Constantinople, according to the testimony of one 
aged monk, says, that in Constantinople the anniyersary of Mark's 
death was annually celebrated by the &mily of Eugenici, from which 
Mark descended, ircpl rrjs ipxyi^» p. 186. Mark's Uut will to Schola- 
rius is published by Benaudot, together with the Homilies of Scholarius 
on the Eucharist. The life of Mark qf Bphetue, composed by his 
brother John, is mentioned in the Mont&ucon manuscripts. BibL 
Bibliothecarum, p. 778. 


any use to Constantine.^ Eugenius^ successor^ Pope 
Nicholas Y.^ sent to Constantinople^ not an army and 
fleets bnt only his Cardinal^ Isidore^ the ex-Metropolitan 
of Bussia (Not. 1452) . A very short time passed in 
negotiations with him ; but few consented to the union ; 
only three Bishops and some of the Clergy received 
it ; even the Emperor was not sincere in accepting it.^ 
The greater part of the Clergy^ and especially the 
Monks^ positively refused to take part in any negotia- 
tions with an apostate Greek. 

Nevertheless, on the 12th of December, 1452, the 
spiritual and civil authorities assembled in the Church 
of S. Sophia. Cardinal Isidore read the act of union, 
(the first time after its proclamation in Florence,) and 
in token of the reconciliation of Churches, solemnly 
officiated in the Liturgy together with the Greek and 
Latin Cl^gy, in which the names of Pope Nicholas and 
the ex-Patriarch Gregory were mentioned. But many 
persons present at the service would not even take the 
antidoron from the officiating clergy. 

In the meantime, while this ceremony was going on 
in the Church of S. Sophia, crowds of the Orthodox 
made their way to the monastery in which Gennadius 
Scholarius was, asking him how they were to act. 
Gennadius shut himself up in his cell, on the doors of 
which were written the prophetical words : ^' Pitiable 
Greeks ! why do you still err, and throwing away all 
hope on God, seek aid of the Franks ? Why do you, 
with the whole of the town, which will soon fall, lose 
your Orthodoxy? Be merciful to me, O God ! I tes- 

> Fabr. xi. p. 358» 383. 

2 As Ducas, a partizaa of the Church of Borne, writes, p. 142. 


tify before Thee, that I am innocent of this crime. 
You see, miserable ones, what is doing around you, and 
at the time captivity is approaching you, — ^reject the 
faith of your fathers and receive unrighteousness ! I 
shall never reject thee, beloved Orthodoxy ; and will not 
conceal thee, O holy tradition, while my spirit dwells ia. 
this my body/^^ 

The inspired words of this monk roused the minds of 
the people. The clergy and laity cursed the union and 
all its present and future upholders. Everywhere cries 
resounded : ^^ We want no aid from the Latins, we want 
no union, we will not receive the service of the azy- 
mites.^^2 Tj^e Orthodox Clergymen sentenced all who 
had communed with the Unionists to bear Church 
punishment. The great Church was quite empty, for 
the Orthodox would not visit it ; Gennadius circulated 
pamphlets among the people full of enmity against the 
Latins, and exhortations to those of the union to cleanse 
their consciences from sin by strict penitence.^ 

The mental disorder of the inhabitants conduced a 
good deal to the success of Mahomet's arms. The be- 
sieged inhabitants, instead of concentrating their remain- 
ing forces in the defence of the town, continued their reli- 
gious animosity to each other. The Orthodox and Latins 
were constantly anathematizing each other. At last 
Constantinople was taken by Mahomet (May 29th, 1453) . 

' This exhortation is contained in Ducas' History, p. 142, and in 
manuscript among the works of Gennadins, Fabr. Bibl. G-r. t. xi. p. 
259. Both agree with each in the principal points. We quota the 
words of both. 

2 Ducas, cap. 36. 

' Ducas, cap. 37. On the works of Gennadius belonging to this 
time, see Benaudot, Fabr. Bibl. Gnec. pp. 358, 359. 


The Saltan left the Greek Faith untouched^ and ap- 
pointed as head of the captive Christians the same 
G«nnadius^ who had done so much for Orthodoxy even 
in the last disorderly times. He and his successors 
were good and strictly Orthodox Pastors of the over- 
burdenedy but as yet not fallen Greek Church. In the 
fallen Empire^ the Church of the East presents to us a 
beautiful example of a nation steadfastly preserving the 
pure doctrine of its fathers^ and of faith preserving the 
nation whole during the space of four heavy centuries. 
Like the Jews in the Babylonian captivity, the Greeks, 
on falling into the hands of the Turks, became still 
more strongly and firmly attached to their old faith ; 
deprived of political liberty, and many worldly advan- 
tages inseparate from it, they found their sole consola- 
tion in their Orthodox Church. The Popes, by allowing 
the capital of Eastern Christianity to perish, only in- 
creased the animosity of the Greeks towards Bomanism. 

The Church of Russia showed herself a worthy 
daughter of the Orthodox Eastern Church, in her rela- 
tions to the Florentine union. 

With the title of Apostolic Legate to all northern 
countries, Isidore, at the close of the Council, returned 
from Italy to Russia, in hopes of alluring her to an 
union with the Church of Rome. From the capital 
of Hungary, he sent off circulars to the Dioceses of 
Lithuania, Russia, and Livonia, then under his juris- 
diction; informing the Christians of the Latin and 
Greek Faith about the union which had taken place 
between the Western and Eastern Christians. Isidore 
wrote : " You, good Christians of the Constantinopolitan 
Church, receive this union with spiritual joy and honour. 


I pray you not to dissent in anything from the Christians 
of Borne. And you Latin tribes^ do not avoid the Greeks^ 
avowed by Borne to be true Christians ; pray in their 
churches^ as they will also pray in yours. Confess your 
sins to Priests of both sides : from any one of them re* 
oeive the Body of Christ alike holy in leavened of 
unleavened bread. So the Council^ held in Florence, 
bids you do.'^ 

In the Bussian territories^ subjected to the influence 
of Latin heterodox power^ Isidore could sooner meet 
with persons inclined to receive the union, than in au- 
tocratic Bussia. But even in the former places his zeal 
met with an obstacle in the circumstance that Casimir, 
Grand Duke of Lithuania, had declared not for Pope 
Eugenius, but for the Council of Basle and Pope Felix 
elected by it.^ In Volhynia Isidore ordained Daniel as 
Bishop, who had agreed to the union, and then tried to 
defend the Latinizing Clergy from the hatred the Or- 
thodox felt towards them, by means of his ypaf^iiaroi.^ 
In Kieff Duke Alexander gave a gramma to Isidore, as 
to ^^ his father, the Metropolitan,'^ over all his dukedom. 
The Kieff manuscripts affirm, nevertheless, that Isidore 
was expelled from KieflF.^ 

In the spring of 1441, Isidore came to Moscow, 
bearing a very polite letter fix)m the Pope to the Grand 
Duke. The clergy and laity impatiently awaited the 

^ Weissenberg, die Chrossen kirchenyersaml. 15 und 16 Jahrhund. xi. 
b. 8. 434. 

^ On Daniel, see History of the Bussian Empire, t. v., 311 ; and 
the Historical Acts, published by the Archaeological Committee, t. i. 
n. 52. 

3 The gramma of the 5th of Feb. 1441, is printed in the Historical 
Acts, t. i. n. 259. 


Metropolitan in the Cathedral of the Assumption. 
Isidore came surrounded by a number of nobles^ pre- 
ceded by the Latin Cross. Belying on the simplicity 
and ignorance of his fold^ he acted in a more decisive 
manner than his brethren in Constantinople. During 
the first Liturgy^ the Pope's name was mentioned^ and 
at the end of the service Isidore's Archdeacon read the 
Florentine decree &om the ambo. All these news^ as 
yet unheard of in the Russian Churchy astonished both 
the clergy and laity very much. No one knew what to 
think of what was seen and heard. But the Grand 
Duke Basil Basilievitch^ burning with zeal for the pure 
doctrine of the Church, solemnly, in the very Church, 
exposed the apostate Isidore, called him a false pastor, 
a corrupter of souls, a heretic, and at last ordered the 
unworthy Metropolitan to be led down from his throne ; 
and, confining him in the Tchudoff Monastery, as- 
sembled a Council of Bishops and the higher grades of 
the Clergy to examine the decree of the Florentine 
Council. When it was found to be contrary to the 
ancient Orthodox doctrine, and when Arsenius, the 
companion of Isidore, had explained the way mat- 
ters had been conducted in Florence, then the Grand 
Duke ordered efforts to be made to incline Isidore to 
repentance. But all was in vain. Remaining in con- 
finement the whole of the summer, the pseudo-Metro- 
politan fled in the autumn from Moscow to Tver, very 
likely in hopes of meeting with a better reception there, 
as the Duke of Tver had sent off one of his boyars 
with him to the Council. But even in Tver he was re- 
ceived no better. The Grand Duke of Tver arrested 
him. Isidore managed however to escape, and fled to 


Novgorodok of Lithuania^ and then to Rome, with the 
bad news of the frustration of the Papal plans. Thus^ 
the Council of Florence, instead of reconciling the 
Church of Great Russia with Rome, or causing her to 
depart from Orthodoxy, only offered this Church an 
opportunity of showing her aversion &om Romanism. 



After having shown from the report of the Eastern 
Bishops and the Council of Constantinople what view 
the Orthodox Church had of the lawless Council of 
Florence, it is now unnecessary to make any further 
remarks to justify this view. It will be quite suffi- 
cient to take a short view of what was done at the 
Council, and how it was done. From the Acts of 
this Council, and the circumstances preceding and fol- 
lowing it, we see very plainly that the motives which 
impelled the principal agents in the Council did not 
breathe of God^s Spirit; that it was not those prin- 
ciples that served as a foundation for the union, which 
the Spirit of God requires ; not those means were em- 
ployed to strengthen the union of the Church which 
agree with religion and the fear of God. Consequently 
the enterprise was shattered, as an enterprise of man, 
not blessed by Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, 
therein justifying the saying of old : " If this counsel, or 
this work, he ofmeriy it mil come to nought" (Acts v. 38.) 


Looking over the circumstances which preceded the 
Florentine Council^ and had paved the way to it^ we see 
£rom the very first glance that it was no sincere, holy 
desire of the peace in the Church ; but strange, worldly 
motives, which impelled the Emperor and Pope to un- 
dertake the reinstation of the ancient peace between 
the Latins and Greeks. The Emperor had hoped by 
means of this union to obtain help from the head of the 
Christian West against the Turks, who had hardly left 
him anything but the walls of Constantinople. The 
Pope, on the other hand, proposing to the Emperor to 
assemble a Council in Italy, was far from wishing that 
the causes of disagreement between the Churches should 
undergo lawful investigation by a Council. This was 
only the wish of the Greeks, to which, as he says him- 
self, he acceded from condescension. 

But even when allowing the discussions and disputes 
on the dogmas of faith to take place in the Council, he 
did not at all mean to agree with the Greeks, should 
they even prove the justness of their doctrine. He 
negotiated with them, in hopes of getting the Eastern 
Church into his own hands. He convened a Council 
in Ferrara, simply with the object of opposing it to 
that of Basle. By inviting the Greeks he gave the 
Council an appearance of being an (Ecumenical one, 
and thereby deprived the opposition Council of this 
title ; for two (Ecumenical Councils could not be held 
at one and the same time. And how much cunning 
was resorted to by both parties, in consequence of the 
different views nourished by them! The Pope, to ex- 
ecute his plans, avails himself of a consent forced from 
the weaker party in the Council of Basle. The Papal 


l^ate assures the Greeks that the Council of Basle is 
reconciled to the Pope. On the arrival of vessels from 
the Council of Basle^ the Papal legate and the legate 
from Bafile try to overreach one another in gaining over 
the Greeks by the most tempting promises. At the 
same time^ among the Greeks also^ means were taken 
to ensure success at the Council following, agreeably 
with the Emperor^s views. Wishing to give the Council 
the appearance of being an (Ecumenical one^ the Em- 
peror takes with him to Italy the vicars of the Eastern 
Patriarchs^ but himself tells them whom to choose, de- 
mands credentials not too strict for them^ and then^ 
conformably to his own views, more than once changes 
their appointments. Can a work, begun with such mo- 
tives, and executed by such means, be blessed and 
sanctified by the grace of the Holy Ghost ? 

Then commence the acts of this Council, first trans- 
acted in private, and afterwards solemn sessions. The 
Greeks prove the error of the Latin doctrine on purga- 
tory, the injustice of the addition to the Creed, and the 
doctrine contained in it. They adduce the plainest words 
from Holy Scripture, the testimonies of the QScumenical 
Councils, and the Fathers of the Church, to prove their 
words. They refute the Latin arguments, expose the 
interpolations made in the testimonies of the Fathers 
adduced by the Latins ; and all in vain. The Latins 
dispute against what is self-evident, and induce the 
Greeks to agree to what has been anathematised by the 
OScumenical Councils. Does not this evince an endea- 
vour to make the one, holy. Catholic Church to contra- 
dict her own self? 

The public disputes are finished. John Falseologus 


gives in to his stubborn opponent; favourers of the 
union appear ; and the opinion refuted by the Greeks 
is put as its comer-stone. What efforts must have 
been made^ what cunning applied to found an unsure 
peace on so weak a foundation! The Greeks are 
innched in their means of subsistence^ which the Pope 
IlAd taken on his own hands; the Emperor is loaded 
with promises^ which no one thought of fulfilling or 
even could fulfil; various formulas are devised^ so that 
the disputed doctrine might be satisfactorily expressed 
for both parties; forged testimonies of the Fathers 
are adduced ; at one time votes are allowed to be given^ 
and at another^ the very same persons are deprived 
of this right ; the Greeks opposing the union are per- 
suaded by means of promises^ rewards^ or derision ; 
the Latins do not begrudge their money. At last^ 
by means of different falsehoods^ the Latins apparently 
attain a superiority over the Greeks^ with the help of 
three traitors to Orthodoxy.^ Is such a Council to 
* bave the right of calling itself (Ecumenical? Were 
affairs ever so conducted and such decrees made in 
(Ecumenical Councils? Can such a Council give its 
decrees the force of the words of the Holy Ghost^ like 
true (Ecumenical Councils ? If the (Ecumenical dig- 
nity of this Council is wished to be founded on the 
circumstance^ that there were present at it the repre- 

' Here we might well mention the opinion of a learned Latin, a person 
**near to Pope Eugenius, namely, Amhromu Trovenari, He writes : 
While in Florence I was obliged to hear and see things done^ which 
could not but make an impression on me, who had been ever used to 
quite other things. To say truth, I more willingly spend my time with 
the peasants of our monastery, than with the pillars of the earth, and 
eiVtti with the Pope of Borne." xi. s. 423, 424. 


sentatives of the five ancient patriarchal sees ; we mast 
not forget also^ that during the Fatriarch^s lifetime^ 
three Vicars of the three Patriarchal sees did not agree 
to the union, and only two of the five gave their vot0 
in its favour. After Joseph's death no one was cowL^ 
missioned to vote in the name of the Constantinopolita^ 
Patriarch; the apostate of Antioch met a firm opponoirt 
and witness of the truth in Mark of Ephesus. Thus, 
even in appearance, there was never any actual agree* 
ment of all the patriarchal sees to the union with the 
Church of Rome. But even Mark's voice alone, is 
sufficient to prove that the Canons of the Florentine 
Council are not (Ecumenical ones : for Mark spoke in 
defence not of his own private opinion, which might 
have been erroneous, but had on his side the testimo- 
nies of (Ecumenical Councils. 

The enterprise unlawfully begun nearly broke down 
in Florence. The obstinacy of both parties when dis- 
puting about the authority and rights of the Pope, 
nearly deprived Eugenius of the first success, which had 
cost him so dear. At the time of the very union the 
reconciled parties shunned each other ; mutual coolness 
and distrust divided them as before. On returning to 
Constantinople the Bishops did not conceal their aver- 
sion from the supposed Church union. The Emperor 
John, during the remaining years of his reign, did not 
care to proclaim the act of the union to the people, 
notwithstanding that two Patriarchs of Constantinople 
favoured the union. Electing such Patriarchs, he appa- 
rently kept up the union with the Church of Rome, 
having his political views for doing so, but at the same 
time he would not introduce the union into his owu 


empire. The Orthodox would not even listen to it. 
Mark of Ephesus and his party exposed its unlawful- 
ness. The Eastern Patriarchs pronounced judgment 
against the union first in Jerusalem^ and then in Con- 
stantinople. The miserable effort of the last Emperor 
of Constantinople to proclaim the union in his city was 
no act of the Church, and was put down by God. 

Thus, the union of Churches proclaimed in Florence 
was, {a) undertaken without the Greeks being persuaded 
of the justice of the Latin doctrine ; {b) was unlawfully 
brought to pass j and (c) very lawfully rejected. 




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" Must have cost considerable labour ; it is a real boon to the Church, 
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HEYGATE. — ^Embee Hours. For the use of his younger 
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Contents :— Chapter I. Study. — II. Detail with persons. — III. Detail with 
things. — rv. Tone. — ^V. Scrutiny. — ^VI. Perseverance. — Appendix. 

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sign." — Christian Remembrancer, 

IRONS. — ^Baptismal Regeneration. The Judgments of the 
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IRONS. — On the Whole Docteine of Final Causes, A 
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JEBB. — Six Lettees on the Present state of the 
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MALAN. — ^Letters to a Young Missionary, By the Rev. 
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MANDLEY. — ^Tractarianism (so called by the prejudiced 
and misinformed) no Novelty; as exemplified in the 
Confession of the Faith and Practice of a Church of Eng- 
land man, of the ever memorable epoch, 1688. Edited 
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MORMONS (The). The Dream and the Reality ; or, Leaves 
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MURRAY. — A Catena of Authorities with regard to 
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NEALE.— History of the Holy Eastern Church. Ge- 
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vols., £2. 

"Treats of the Geography, Ecclesiology, Liturgies, Calendar, &c. There is 
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** We must express our admiration of the research and indefatigable industry 
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B 2 5 

Theological and Scholastic Works. 


NEALE. — ^The History op the Pateiarchate of Alex- 
andria. Two vols., 248. 

Contains its history and foundation from its ai)Ostolic founder, through 
the annals of its earlier patriarchs — The Persecutions and Martyrs — ^The Sa- 
bellian, Arian, and Nestorian Heresies, up to the time of Mahomet — Its Me- 
diaeval History and its Decline— The great g^ between East and West up to 
the presmt time, when it is a shadow of its former self, " persecuted, but not 
forseiken; cast down, but not destroyed." 

NEALE. — Appendix to the introduction to the History 
OF THE HOLY EASTERN Church; contammg a List of the 
Sees. Is. 

NEALE. — ^Medleval Preachers and MEDiiEVAL Preach- 
ing. A Series of Extracts, translated from the Sermons 
of the Middle Ages, chronologically arranged. With 
Notes, and an Introduction. Svo., 7s. 

NEALE. — ^Documents connected with the Present 
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CoNTKNTs : Catholic Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism ; Letter to a Con- 
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Abb^ Bautidn, on the Great Men of the Russian Church ; Letter to a Roman 
Convert; Comparison of the Consecration of Bishops in the East and West; 
Russian Missions, &c. 

Eight Essays are by M. A. N. Mouravieff, author of the History of the Rus> 
sian Church; the ninth by Innocent, late Archbishop of Odessa; and the 
Tenth is by an Athenian Priest. 

OWEN.— An Introduction to the study of Dogmatic 
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" English Theology owes much to Mr. Owen for this valuable work. It is 
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interesting range of topics. The learning, moderation, and candour of the 
writer are conspicuous in every page." — Literary Churchman. 

** A readable, and in many respects, a fair, candid, and temperate volume." 
— North Britiah Review. 

OXLEE. — The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity and 
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Vol. I. (1815.) On the Holy Trinity. 
Vol. II. (1820.) The Doctrine of the Incarnation. 
Vol. III. (1850.) The Doctrine of the Incarnation as to 
our Lord's office and work. 

J, Masters, London, 

OXLEE.— Thbeb Sermoks. 68. 

Published at three diflbrent times, on the Power, Origin, and Succession of 
the Christian Hierarchy in the English Church, with copious and historical 
notes and indexes. These sermons bear on the suliiject of Absolution and 
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OXLEE. — Three Letters to Mb. C. Wellbeloved, (1824) 
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OXLEE. — ^Three Letters (1842) humbly addressed to 
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OXLEE.— The Mysterious Stranger; or. Dialogues on 
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Stranger. By the late Rev. John Oxlee. Edited by his 
Son, the Rev. John Oxlee, Perpetual Curate of Oversilton, 
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PALMER. — ^Dissertations on some Subjects Relating 
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** Written by one bom and nuri^ured in the bosom of Fresbyterianism, who 
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agreeably to the analogy of Holy Scripture. By a Clergy- 
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SPELMAN. — History and Fate of Sacrilege. By Sir 
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SPIRIT OF THE CBURCH (The). A Selection of Articles 
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"WILKINS. — ^Threescore Years and Ten. By George 
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CoNTSNTs: — Advanced Age; Uncertain Extent of life; The Septuage- 
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DENISON.— The National Society. A Letter to the 
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